Netanyahu pledges to annex West Bank settlements within months

Jerusalem:┬áIsraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to annex Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank within “a couple of months”.

In his remark during an online address to evangelical Christian supporters of Israel on Sunday, Netanyahu said that he wishes to implement a part of U.S. President Donald Trump’s Mideast peace plan announced in January, which allows Israel to annex parts of the West Bank, reported Xinhua news agency.

“President Trump pledged to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Jewish communities there and in the Jordan Valley,” Netanyahu said.

“A couple of months from now, I’m confident that that pledge will be honoured,” he added.

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Netanyahu’s re-election campaign

Imposing Israeli sovereignty over the Jewish settlements and the annexation of the Jordan Valley took major parts of Netanyahu’s re-election campaign in the March 2 elections.

However, a week ago, he signed a power-sharing deal to form a unity government with his former opponent, Benny Gantz, leader of the centrist Blue and White party.

Agreement

The agreement, achieved after months of negotiations, allows Netanyahu to bring a proposal to impose Israeli sovereignty on the settlements to the approval of the government starting from July.

However, the agreement also requires that the Israeli government will not take moves that harm prospects for peace with the Palestinians.

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The Palestinians strongly object Israeli sovereignty over the West Bank, which was seized by Israel in a 1967 war. Israel has controlled it ever since, despite international criticism.

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