'Immediate' annexation steps if reelected, says Netanyahu ahead of polls 

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Mar 01, 2020, 03:09 PM(IST)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem May 31, 2016. Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

US President Donald Trump's widely-criticised Middle East peace plan, unveiled in late January, gave the Jewish state a green light to annex the area and proposed a committee to set out the exact borders of the territory to be annexed.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday said that if re-elected he would annex swathes of the occupied West Bank within weeks, according to news agency AFP.

Netanyahu's comments came a day ahead of Israel's third election in a year.

In an interview with Israeli public radio, Netanyahu has reportedly said that annexation of the Jordan Valley and other parts of the West Bank was his top priority among "four major immediate missions".

"That will happen within weeks, two months at the most, I hope," he said in the interview aired 24 hours before polls were scheduled to open. 

Also read: Explainer: Why is Israel holding its third election in a year?

"The joint US-Israeli mapping committee started work a week ago," he added.

For the third time in under 12 months, Israeli citizens will be making a trip to the polling booths. In 2019, Israel held two elections to their parliament and on both occasions, the mandate was fractured -- with no party winning a majority. Just like the last two elections, the key players in this election are sitting prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his rival Benny Gantz.

The Israeli parliament or the Knesset has 120 seats up for grabs. 

US President Donald Trump's widely-criticised Middle East peace plan, unveiled in late January, gave the Jewish state a green light to annex the area and proposed a committee to set out the exact borders of the territory to be annexed.

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