Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged on Tuesday to annex Jewish settlements in portions of the West Bank, including the Jordan River valley, if he is re-elected next week.
It is a move likely to enjoy the support of President Donald Trump while also stirring up the opposition of Democratic members of Congress like Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib and others around the world who view the Jewish people as occupiers of Palestinian lands.
The Jerusalem Post reported Netanyahu would “apply sovereignty over all the settlements of Judea and Samaria, starting with the Jordan Valley.”
“I will not do anything without getting a clear mandate from the public, and so the citizens of Israel, I ask you for a clear mandate to do this,” Netanyahu said in a statement that he delivered at Kfar Maccabiah Hotel near Tel Aviv.
“There is a unique and once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to do something with broad consensus and bring safe permanent borders to the State of Israel,” he added. “This will ensure that Judea and Samaria do not become Gaza, and that Kfar Saba, Netanya and Tel Aviv will not become like communities along the border of Gaza.”
Netanyahu said he would make the move in coordination with the Trump administration, according to The Post.
“He revealed that Trump intends to announce his Middle East peace plan soon after the September 17 election, adding that he would wait with his annexation plan until after Trump’s ‘Deal of the Century’ is revealed,” the news outlet reported.
“I want to receive a clear mandate from you to apply Israeli sovereignty over all settlements. Out of respect to President Trump, I’ll wait with the application of sovereignty until after the president presents his plan,” Netanyahu said. “I am waiting to do this in maximum coordination with Trump.”
Netanyahu referred to a map during his remarks, which showed the portions of the West Bank, Israel would annex.
#Update: Just in – Picture of the map of where Prime minister Benjamin @netanyahu will start the annexation of parts of the West Bank, at the Northern Dead Sea and the Jordan Valley might he win the snap election in 7 days. #Israel @AuroraIntel @ELINTNews pic.twitter.com/QauEsto8wh
— Sotiri Dimpinoudis (@sotiridi) September 10, 2019
Newsweek reported that the area that prime minister proposes to annex makes up about 30 percent of the West Bank.
According to Newsweek, the West Bank overall includes about 2.5 million Palestinian Arabs and 400,000 Jewish Israelis inhabitants.
There has never been an independent nation of Palestine. Great Britain oversaw the region at the end of World War I, following the fall of the Ottoman Empire in 1918.
The British mandate ended in May 1948 at which time Israel declared its independence.
Five Arab nations — Jordan, Iraq, Syria, Egypt and Lebanon — responded by launching a war against the Jewish state. Israel won, securing much of territory currently making up the country.
Israel prevailed again in June 1967 during the Six Days War, which resulted in the capture of the West Bank from Jordan, the Golan Heights from Syria, and the Gaza Strip from Egypt.
As a result of the Oslo Accords in 1993, Israel granted self-government to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and portions of the West Bank, but has retained control over the borders with other nations.
Netanyahu has stated on numerous occasions that Israel is “indefensible” if the nation were to return to the pre-1967 lines.
A mere 10 to 15 miles separate parts of the eastern border of the West Bank with the Mediterranean Sea, making Israel very vulnerable to being cut in half by an invading army.
Similarly, the Golan Heights — bordered by Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan — is key ground that Israel’s enemies can and have used to attack the Jewish State.
In March, Trump recognized Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights in the northeast region of the country.
After 52 years it is time for the United States to fully recognize Israel’s Sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which is of critical strategic and security importance to the State of Israel and Regional Stability!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 21, 2019
David Rubin — the former mayor of Shiloh in the West Bank and author of “Trump and the Jews” — told The Western Journal that “Netanyahu’s announcement is consistent with what he has been hinting at for the past six months.”
He added, “The key difference this time is that he made it clear that the Trump administration supports the decision and that the Deal of the Century possibly does as well, at least the first step which is annexing the Jordan Valley and the region near the Dead Sea.”
Clearly, Netanyahu sees a moment in time for his country with a friend like Trump in office to establish firmer, permanent boundaries over its territory, which was won in defensive wars.
Thankfully, we have a president who not only recognizes the Jewish State’s right to exist, but also Netanyahu’s right and responsibility to establish security for his people.
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