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Israeli annexation of occupied West Bank may happen in 'stages': Netanyahu Open in fullscreen

Diana Alghoul

Israeli annexation of occupied West Bank may happen in 'stages': Netanyahu

Netanyahu met with the Bitachonistim movement [Getty]

Date of publication: 16 June, 2020

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Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly said annexation will not happen all at once.
Annexing the occupied West Bank would happen "in stages", Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had reportedly agreed after disagreements with a coalition partner.

According to Israel's Channel 13Netanyahu met with members of the "Bitachonistim" movement saying annexation will not happen all at once.

Netanyahu indicated that he wants to annex 30 percent of the West Bank, including the Jordan Valley, but acknowledged that he is still negotiating with his coalition partner – a crucial condition for annexation to take place.

Read also: Remembering 72 years of the Nakba in the shadow of annexation

A US precondition to recognise the illegal annexations is for Netanyahu to have government consensus on the map and timing of annexation.

Netanyahu's Likud Party is being challenged by the leader of the Blue and White Party and Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz, who along with Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi is reportedly not in favour of annexing 30 percent of the West Bank.

The Bitachonistim movement includes former members of the Israeli military, who support the annexation of Palestinian land in the West Bank.

Netanyahu also told the Likud Party on Monday that the map for annexation is not yet ready, urging Washington's approval.

"We don't know what Blue and White are thinking - that's a good question," he said.

"We are currently in talks with the US. We want them to agree to the whole plan," he added.

The Blue and White Party, led by Gantz has expressed hesitancy in the annexation project.

Israel's plans to annex approximately one third of the West Bank was greenlighted by US President Donald Trump's so-called "Deal of the Century". The plan also envisages the creation of a severely restricted Palestinian state. 

Israel has occupied the West Bank illegally since 1967, and commits various abuses against Palestinian civilians, human rights groups say.

More than 600,000 Israeli Jews live in settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, in constructions considered illegal under international law.

The Oslo agreement of 1995 divided the occupied West Bank into three: Area A, Area B and Area C.

Area A is under the administrative and security control of the Palestinian Authority (PA). Area B's administration is controlled by the Palestinian Authority, with Israel controlling security. Area C is under full administrative and security control of Israel.

Israel could begin implementing annexations as soon as 1 July.


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