Netanyahu treading on dangerous ground with annexation pledge

In a televised speech, Netanyahu also reiterated his intention to annex Israeli settlements in the wider West Bank if re-elected.
Wednesday 11/09/2019
An election campaign banner depicting Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, head of the Likud Party, shaking hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin, is seen ahead of the snap Israeli legislative election, scheduled for September 17, 2019. (DPA)
An election campaign banner depicting Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, head of the Likud Party, shaking hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin, is seen ahead of the snap Israeli legislative election, scheduled for September 17, 2019. (DPA)

The EU warned Wednesday that Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's pledge to annex the Jordan Valley in the occupied West Bank if he wins next week's election undermines chances for peace in the region.

Netanyahu's vow was roundly condemned by the Palestinians as well as Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Turkey, and the EU said it would not recognise any change to Israel's borders that was not agreed by both sides.

"The policy of settlement construction and expansion... is illegal under international law and its continuation, and actions taken in this context, undermine the viability of the two-state solution and the prospects for a lasting peace," an EU spokesperson said in a statement.

In a televised speech, Netanyahu also reiterated his intention to annex Israeli settlements in the wider West Bank if re-elected.

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

(AFP)