Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he plans to annex “all” settlements in the occupied West Bank if he emerges victorious in the forthcoming general elections.
“I intend to impose Israeli sovereignty on all blocs and settlements and sites of importance to the Jewish heritage,” Netanyahu told Army Radio on Monday.
He said that settlements, such as Kiryat Arba next to the Palestinian city of al-Khalil, “will be part of” the occupied territories.
The Israeli prime minister added that he has told President Donald Trump about his plan, adding that the US administration will announce its proposal for “peace” between the Israeli regime and the Palestinians, the so-called the deal of the century, “shortly after the elections.”
The report follows Netanyahu’s pledge last week to annex the Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea if he wins the September 17 snap polls.
Israel occupied the West Bank in the 1967 Six-Day War, in a move never recognized by the international community.
On Tuesday evening, Netanyahu promised to annex the Jordan Valley if he wins the general elections, drawing sharp criticism from the Palestinians as well as countries in the Middle East, including Jordan, Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
He also reiterated his intention to annex Israeli settlements throughout the West Bank if re-elected. Netanyahu said the move would be in coordination with Trump.
The Jordan Valley accounts for around one-third of the West Bank. Israeli right-wing politicians have long viewed the 2,400-square kilometer (926.65-square mile) strategic area as part of the territory they would never retreat from and stated that the Israeli military would maintain its control there under any peace agreement with the Palestinians.
Netanyahu went on to say that he would wait for the Trump administration to announce “the deal of the century,” before the Tel Aviv regime makes any major policy changes on the status of Israeli settlements.