Binyamin Netanyahu vows to annex West Bank settlements

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu vows to annex West Bank settlements if re-elected

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu vows to annex West Bank settlements if re-elected

"This provocation is harmful to Israeli, Palestinian, and American interests", Buttigieg said Saturday on Twitter, attaching a Haaretz news article reporting Netanyahu's pledge, made in a TV interview.

Netanyahu completely rejected the idea of a Palestinian state by stating that "it will endanger our existence".

"We must be able to transcend [Netanyahu's] current leadership to make sure that that alliance is strong, that we continue to push for and settle for nothing less than a two-state solution, because that is the best opportunity for peace for the people of Israel and the people of Palestine", he insisted.

Formerly the chief of the army, Gantz dismissed Netanyahu's rallying call on Monday: "The right is not in danger, Netanyahu is in danger".

Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator and a close aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said: "Israel will continue to brazenly violate global law for as long as the worldwide community will continue to reward Israel with impunity, particularly with the Trump Administration's support and endorsement of Israel's violation of the national and human rights of the people of Palestine".

His remarks were widely seen as an appeal to right-wing voters ahead of what is expected to be a close election on Tuesday.

In an interview with Israeli Channel 12 News three days ahead of the April 9 poll, Netanyahu was asked why he had not extended sovereignty to large West Bank settlements, as Israel did without global recognition in east Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, both captured in the 1967 Middle East war.

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"This is, at the end of the day, this is the scenario, and this is where they think they can dictate a solution by destroying the concept of two states", said Senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat.

The incumbent prime minister also said he had told President Donald Trump that would not evacuate "a single person" from the 400,000 or so Jews residing in the West Bank. Settlements are seen as illegal under global law, although Israel disagrees. "Israel needs to choose a direction of unification, connection and hope or of extremity".

Netanyahu, asked why he had not declared Israeli sovereignty over large West Bank settlements as Israel has already done in the occupied Golan Heights and East Jerusalem, said he was already discussing the move.

Palestinians want East Jerusalem to be the capital of a future state they are seeking.

In 2017 Mr Trump announced that the U.S. recognised Jerusalem as Israel's capital, overturning decades of official USA policy.

Other U.S. politicians have had little flattery for the Israeli prime minister.

O'Rourke isn't the first Democrat to criticize Israel in recent weeks. "These things takes time", said Netanyahu in reference to Trump's presidential order last month recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

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