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Netanyahu Vows Additional West Bank Annexations if Reelected

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu doubled down on his campaign promise to annex areas in the West Bank if he is reelected in Tuesday’s national vote, adding the city of Kiryat Arba and the Jewish parts of Hebron to his previously stated commitment to apply Israeli sovereignty to the strategic Jordan Valley. The declaration came ten days after Netanyahu visited Hebron and vowed that it would never “be devoid of Jews.” The premier last week said that the Jordan Valley – which most Israeli politicians view as essential to ensuring the Jewish state’s security – would remain in Israel’s hands in perpetuity. “This will ensure that Judea and Samaria [the biblical names for areas encompassing most of the West Bank] do not become Gaza, and that Kfar Saba, Netanya and Tel Aviv will not become like communities along the [southern] border.” For its part, the Palestinian Authority slammed Netanyahu’s prospective move, with the Arab League stressing that it “considers [Netanyahu’s] announcement a dangerous development and a new Israeli aggression… [that would] violate international law.”