Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 24 September 2020

Netanyahu to move ahead with West Bank annexation after peace plan revealed

Israel's defence minister says proposal offers Israel 'opportunity to determine territory of our country'

A view of part of the Jewish settlement of Maale Adumim on January 28, 2020 in Maale Adumim, West Bank. Getty
A view of part of the Jewish settlement of Maale Adumim on January 28, 2020 in Maale Adumim, West Bank. Getty

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's spokesman said the Israeli leader will ask his Cabinet on Sunday to approve his plan to annex parts of the West Bank.

Jonathan Urich made the announcement on Twitter late on Tuesday, shortly after Mr Netanyahu joined US President Donald Trump for the unveiling of his peace plan.

The plan calls for leaving the Jordan Valley and all Israeli settlements under Israeli control.

It sparked rejection from the Palestinians and condemnation from Jordan and Turkey.

"This plan is an annexation plan that is aimed at killing the two state solution and stealing Palestinian lands," Turkey's Foreign Ministry said, describing Mr Trump's proposals as "stillborn".

Mr Netanyahu's hard-line nationalist allies called for the immediate annexation of Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Naftali Bennett, Israel's Defence Minister, said the proposal offered Israel "an opportunity to determine the territory of our country" and "include all the Israeli settlements in the land of Israel within the sovereign state of Israel."

Mr Bennett, a hawkish member of the religious nationalist Yemina party, said that Israel "cannot wait until after the elections, and won't be satisfied with partial sovereignty. Take it all now".

Ayelet Shaked, Israel's former justice minister and Mr Bennett's running mate, said Israel is at "a historic moment" and called for unilateral annexation of West Bank land.

"The dangerous part of the plan, that is the establishment of a Palestinian state or recognition of a Palestinian state, won't happen," she wrote on Twitter.

Updated: January 29, 2020 12:53 AM

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