Netanyahu Considers Annexing Parts of Judea and Samaria after Elections


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Israel's Channel 12 News on Saturday evening that he will start extending Israeli sovereignty over the West Bank if re-elected prime minister in the election on April 9.

"I stood with your Prime Minister at the White House to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights".

"We got you something that you wanted", Trump said of the embassy move, adding, "Unlike other presidents, I keep my promises".

US President Donald Trump (L) and Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu.

In Gaza, Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri urged Abbas's western-backed Palestinian Authority to halt its security cooperation with Israel in the occupied West Bank.

Netanyahu said he informed Trump not "even one person" would be evicted from a settlement.

Saeb Erekat, Secretary General of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), said Netanyahu's statement was "not surprising".

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said the West Bank, which Israel seized in the 1967 Middle East war, was Palestinian territory and Israel's occupation violated global law.

With Israeli-Palestinian peace talks frozen since 2014, personalities and personal attacks have dominated an election campaign that has largely skated over war-and-peace issues that once dominated the Israeli political debate.

When asked if he would push through before Tuesday the much-delayed evacuation of Palestinians living in Khan al-Ahmar, a Bedouin village near the Maale Adumim settlement bloc, he reiterated his opposition to a Palestinian state on the West Bank.

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Palestinian negotiators have boycotted contact with the Trump administration since it, in another break with longtime policy, moved the USA embassy to Jerusalem and recognized the city as the country's capital, enraging Palestinians, who also consider the city their capital. Both moves delighted Israel, infuriated Palestinian and Arab leaders, and were opposed by most USA allies.

President Donald Trump warned on Saturday that a Democratic victory in 2020 could "leave Israel out there", as he highlighted his pro-Israel actions in an effort to make the case for Jewish voters to back his re-election.

Trump also called the asylum program "a scam", alleging that lawyers coach tough, violent men through the process.

Jewish voters in the USA have traditionally sided heavily with Democrats, but Republicans are hoping to narrow the gap next year, in part as Trump cites actions that he says show he's more pro-Israel.

Netanyahu's annexation remark comes just three days before the election and is likely an appeal to right-wing voters who are overwhelmingly supportive of the settler movement. His comments were carried by Israeli websites.

Trump made the same mistake last week, when he said his father was born in Germany, confusing his father with his grandfather, while it was his grandfather, Friedrich Trump who was born in Germany.

The Israeli prime minister was asked by Channel 13 if he was familiar with the details of the USA plan, replying he knew "what should be in it".

Last year, however, Mr Netanyahu told members of his right-wing Likud party that Israel and the United States were discussing the possibility of Israel annexing settlements.

Netanyahu said yesterday his position on settlers had also been relayed to the former USA president.