Photo: Flash90

Netanyahu: West Bank annexation “historic opportunity”

In defiance of international and Palestinian condemnation, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that the “historic opportunity” of legally annexing significant parts of the Jewish ancestral homeland will not be missed.

During a faction meeting of his ruling Likud party, Netanyahu said, “We have a historic opportunity, which hasn’t existed since 1948, to apply sovereignty judiciously, as a diplomatic and a sovereign step by the state of Israel in Judea and Samaria. It is a big opportunity and we will not let it pass by.”

In accordance with the coalition agreement of Israel’s national emergency government, the process of annexing parts of the West Bank will commence 1 July. Senior Israeli officials underscored to TV7 the move will be conducted in close coordination with the Trump Administration.

Netanyahu’s statements come at a time of heightened tensions with the Palestinian Authority (PA), following Ramallah’s nullification of all signed agreements and understandings with both Israel and the United States.

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh, who heads the technocratic government subordinate to Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, said the decision to absolve the treaties was in response to Israel’s declared plans to annex territories in the West Bank, which includes the Jordan Valley and the Biblical districts of Judea and Samaria.

During an emergency cabinet meeting last week, Shtayyeh stressed that “The announcement of the annexation of Palestinian lands and the imposition of Israeli sovereignty over the settlements is a violation of our signed agreements with Israel, a violation of international law and international legitimacy, and a threat to regional and international security. It reflects the agenda of the government coalition in Israel, which systematically works to destroy the establishment of the State of Palestine in addition to the siege on the Gaza Strip, the isolation and annexation of occupied Jerusalem, and the use of area “C” as a strategic reservoir to expand its settlements.”

The Palestinian leader went on to insist that “denouncement and condemnation statements are not enough,” while demanding “We want the world to stand for the moment of truth by recognizing the State of Palestine.” He also praised global rejection of the U.S.-proposed peace plan to resolve the Palestinians conflict with Israel.

In response to the Palestinian call for action, several European nations are currently formulating measures to deter the prospects of Israeli annexation.

As TV7 previously reported, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian revealed that in coordination with other European capitals, Paris is working to advance a “joint preventive action.” In the event European action fail to obstruct the Israeli annexation, the top French diplomat warned that “reprisal” would soon follow.