İrem UZUN-TDO- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced his plan to annex the Jordan Valley in the occupied West Bank if he wins next week's general election on September 17."Today, I announce my intention, after the establishment of a new government, to apply Israeli sovereignty to the Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea," Netanyahu said in a speech broadcast live on Israeli TV. He asked for the support of Israeli citizens for his plan.

The Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea constitute approximately 30 percent of the West Bank. 65,000 Palestinians and nearly 11,000 illegal Israeli settlers live in the area. The larger part of the area is under Israeli military control in what is referred to as Area C.

During his speech, Netanyahu hinted that the plan may be approved by the US. “I am waiting to do this in maximum coordination with Trump,” he said. Netanyahu added that the US president was likely to release his Middle East peace plan. US officials have suggested the plan will not include a Palestinian state, something Netanyahu has promised to never let happen. When asked whether the White House supported Netanyahu's move, a White House official said there had been no change in its policy and would not comment further.

Arab League foreign ministers condemned Netanyahu's plan, saying it would undermine any chance of progress towards Israeli-Palestinian peace. Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmud Abbas called Netanyahu “a prime destroyer of peace process”, while Saudi Arabia considered the plan as “the violation of international law and dangerous escalation against the Palestinians”. It called for an emergency meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to discuss the plan.

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