(JNS) Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced this week that if he is re-elected, he will apply sovereignty over all settlements in Judea and Samaria, starting with the Jordan Valley.
Netanyahu said the steps would be taken in coordination with the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump. 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.
“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. “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.”
Pointing to a map of the Jordan Valley, he said Israel could carry out the plan without annexing a single Palestinian and ensuring that Palestinians maintain complete freedom of movement throughout the West Bank. He hinted that the plan had been coordinated with the U.S.
Sources close to Netanyahu said that Israel keeping the Jordan Valley is in Trump’s plan. Israeli officials informed the White House in advance about Netanyahu’s upcoming statement. The White House peace team did not consider the statement as one that would prevent a future agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.
The Palestinians strongly condemned Netanyahu’s move, and warned that it will have negative consequences.