Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged Saturday to annex Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank if re-elected, a dramatic policy shift apparently aimed at rallying his nationalist base in the final stretch of the tight race.

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Netanyahu has promoted Jewish settlement expansion in his 4 terms as prime minister, but till now refrained from presenting a detailed vision for the West Bank, observed by the Palestinians as the heartland of a future state.

An Israeli annexation of significant components of the West Bank is bound to snuff out any final flicker of hope for an Israeli-Palestinian deal on the terms of a Palestinian state on lands Israel captured in 1967.

A so-named two-state remedy has extended been the preferred solution of most of the international neighborhood. Even so, intermittent U.S. mediation involving Israelis and Palestinians ran aground soon after President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital early in his term. The Palestinians, who seek Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem as their capital, suspended speak to with the U.S.

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Much more not too long ago, Trump recognized Israeli sovereignty more than the Golan Heights, a plateau Israel captured from Syria in 1967. The move was viewed in Israel as a political present by Trump to Netanyahu who is getting challenged by former military chief Benny Gantz.

Polls have indicated a close race, although Netanyahu’s Likud Celebration is anticipated to have a greater likelihood than Gantz’s Blue and White slate to kind a ruling coalition. Polls forecast much more than 60 out of 120 parliament seats for the Likud and smaller sized suitable-wing and ultra-Orthodox Jewish parties

On Saturday, Netanyahu gave an interview to Israel’s Channel 12 Television at the best of the prime-time newscast. Netanyahu portrayed the U.S. policy shifts on Jerusalem and the Golan Heights as his achievements, saying he had managed to persuade Trump to take these actions.

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Netanyahu pledged that he would not dismantle a single Jewish settlement and that Israel would retain manage of the territory west of the Jordan River — the West Bank. Much more than 600,000 Israelis now reside on war-won lands, two-thirds in the West Bank.

The interviewer asked why he hadn’t annexed some of the bigger settlements for the duration of his present term. “The query you are asking is an exciting query, regardless of whether we will move to the subsequent stage and the answer is yes,” he stated, adding that the subsequent term in workplace would be fateful. “We will move to the subsequent stage, the imposing of Israeli sovereignty.”

“I will impose sovereignty, but I will not distinguish involving settlement blocs and isolated settlements,” he stated. “From my point of view, any point of settlement is Israeli, and we have duty, as the Israeli government. I will not uproot anybody, and I will not transfer sovereignty to the Palestinians.”

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In any partition deal, the much more isolated Jewish settlements would probably have to be uprooted to make a viable Palestinian state.

Saeb Erekat, a veteran former Palestinian negotiator, stated he held the international neighborhood, particularly the Trump administration, accountable for Israel’s policies.

“Israel will continue to brazenly violate international law for as extended as the international neighborhood will continue to reward Israel with impunity, especially with the Trump administration’s assistance and endorsement of Israel’s violation of the national and human rights of the people today of Palestine,” he stated in a statement.

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