ABSTRACT: According to official statistics, as of 2018, the population of Jewish settlements in the West Bank was 448,000.
Jerusalem, September 10, Xinhua News Agency (Xinhua) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on September 10 that if the Likud Group led by him wins the parliamentary elections held on July 17, Israel will incorporate the Jordan Valley into its territory. This statement was strongly condemned by the Palestinian side.
In a televised speech that evening, Netanyahu said that if he wins the election, he would bring the Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea into Israels territory, which would be a historic move. He said the annexation of the Jordan Valley would be the first step for Israel to exercise broader sovereignty over the West Bank.
Following Netanyahus remarks, Palestinian Prime Minister Ashtier issued a statement saying that Netanyahu was a destroyer of the peace process. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on the same day that if Netanyahu did so, all agreements between Palestine and Israel would be annulled.
The Jordan Valley accounts for about one third of the West Bank. Israel occupied the West Bank during the Third Middle East War in 1967, and then began building Jewish settlements there. According to official statistics, as of 2018, the population of Jewish settlements in the West Bank was 448,000.
According to Israeli media reports, Israeli officials briefed the White House in advance of Netanyahus speech. It is generally believed in the media that Netanyahus comments are intended to create a vote for himself and the Likud Group and seek the support of the right-wing forces in the country.
Earlier this April, before parliamentary elections, Netanyahu said that if elected for re-election, his new government would work to bring Jewish settlements in the West Bank into Israeli territory. The Likud Group won parliamentary elections in April, and Netanyahu was re-elected and authorized to form a cabinet. However, due to his failure to complete the formation of the cabinet within the prescribed time limit, the Likud Group submitted a proposal to the Parliament to dissolve the parliament. The Israeli Parliament voted to adopt the proposal and decided to reconvene parliamentary elections on 17 September. (Reporter Shang Hao, Chen Wenxian)
Source: Xinhua responsible editor: Li Zaixing_NBJS9026