Israel will not miss 'historic opportunity' to annex West Bank: Netanyahu
Iran Press TV
Monday, 25 May 2020 5:52 PM
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says the Tel Aviv regime will not miss a "historic opportunity" to go ahead with its controversial plans to annex parts of the occupied West Bank and extend its law to those areas, calling the move one of the main priorities of his new coalition administration.
"We have a historic opportunity, which hasn't existed since 1948, to apply sovereignty judiciously and as a diplomatic step in Judea and Samaria," he said at the opening of his Likud faction's weekly meeting at the Knesset (Israeli parliament), referring to the year the Israeli regime was created and using the biblical names for the occupied West Bank.
"It is a big opportunity and we will not let it pass by," he added.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has called the matter complex and said it required coordination with Washington, in accordance with the controversial plan laid out by US President Donald Trump in January on the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict, dubbed 'the deal of century.'
The so-called "peace" plan envisions Jerusalem al-Quds as "Israel's undivided capital" and allows the Tel Aviv regime to annex settlements in the occupied West Bank and the Jordan Valley. The plan also denies Palestinian refugees the right of return to their homeland, among other controversial terms.
Trump's plan has triggered waves of protest rallies around the globe, and has been rejected in its entirety by the Palestinians.
Palestinians want the West Bank as part of a future independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital. But Israel's aggressive settlement expansion and annexation plans have dealt a serious blow to any prospects of peace.
The last round of Israeli-Palestinian talks collapsed in 2014. Among the major sticking points in those negotiations was Israel's continued settlement expansion on the Palestinian territories.
More than 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds.
Netanyahu, who was sworn into office for another term on May 17, has set July 1 for the start of cabinet discussions on extending Israeli sovereignty over settlements in the West Bank and the Jordan Valley.
In response to Israel's decision, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas declared the end of all agreements signed with Israel and the United States on May 19, after the new Israeli coalition cabinet announced it would proceed with its annexation plans.
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