Netanyahu shocks with promise to annex west Jordan Valley

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a deeply controversial pledge on Tuesday to annex the Jordan Valley in the occupied West Bank if re-elected in September 17 polls.

“There is one place where we can apply Israeli sovereignty immediately after the elections,” Netanyahu said in a televised speech.

“If I receive from you, citizens of Israel, a clear mandate to do so … today I announce my intention to apply with the formation of the next government Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and northern Dead Sea.”

Netanyahu also reiterated his intention to annex Israeli settlements throughout the West Bank if re-elected, though in coordination with US President Donald Trump, whose long-awaited peace plan is expected to be unveiled sometime after the vote.

Those moves could effectively kill any remaining hopes for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, long the focus of international diplomacy.