Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday that he plans to apply his nation's sovereignty to West Bank settlements in Hebron, the largest Palestinian city, if he is re-elected in Tuesday's election.
He told Israel Army Radio on Monday that he plans to annex "all settlements" on the West Bank, including Hebron and Kiryat Arba, located on the outskirts of Hebron, according to Israeli media.
During the interview, he also promised to apply Israeli sovereignty to "vital areas" outside the settlement blocks, but did not elaborate, The Times of Israel reported. He reportedly spoke of the appendices that took place in stages, coordinated with the Trump administration.
"I got them [the Trump administration] to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, after that to move the embassy there, and then acknowledge our sovereignty over Golan Heights," the Israeli newspaper told him.
"And now after huge diplomatic efforts, I lay the groundwork for applying Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley as our eastern defense wall and after that over all settlements and over other important areas, within [settlement] blocks and outside the blocks. And all this, I want to do with President Trump. "
Locked in a hard race and with legal misery hanging over him, Netanyahu, fighting for his political survival, made the announcement in a last ditch effort to land nationalist support the day before a do-over election . Many of the right-wing voters choose to settle in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
"I intend to extend sovereignty to all settlements and blocks [settlement] including" places that have security importance or are important to Israel's heritage, "Netanyahu said in an interview with Army Radio.
When asked if it included hundreds of Jews living under heavy military guard amid tens of thousands of Palestinians in Hebron, Netanyahu replied, "Of course."
COEXISTENCE IN A & # 39; DANGER & # 39; Z EN: A CONTENT OF ISRAELI INSTALLATIONS IN THE WEST BANK
The international spokesman for the Jewish community in Hebron, Yishai Fleisher, said that Hebron is the second most historic and holy city for Jews after Jerusalem.
In response to Netanyahu's promise to apply Israeli sovereignty in Hebron, Fleisher told Fox News, "There is a big difference between political promises and political politics and action."
He added, "The Jewish community in Hebron welcomes these statements and looks forward to pressures to make them a political reality and political policy."
Hebron is home to a holy place for Jews, Christians and Muslims, because the biblical patriarchs and matriarchs are buried in the city. Hebron is a frequent flashpoint between Jews and Palestinians living there. More than 200,000 Palestinians live in Hebron, along with about 800 Jews living on a street defended by the Israeli military. Kiryat Arba, Hebron's "sister city," is home to about 9,000 Jews, according to Fleisher.
During the final weeks of Netanyahu's campaign, he has made tough promises with the obvious goal of gathering more votes and securing reelection.
After Netanyahu failed to form a coalition after the April vote, which caused the dissolution of the Israeli parliament, Israelis will attend elections on Tuesday for the second election this year.
Last week, Netanyahu pledged to start annexing the Jordan Valley region on the West Bank, which makes up about a quarter of the area and is the center of any future Palestinian state if he wins national elections. Promises elicited layoffs from world leaders.
NETANYAHU SAYS HERE APPLIED TO ANNEX JORDAN VALLEY FOR ELECTIONS, BUT ISRAELS AG HAD MOVE: REPORT
Following the announcement, a UN spokesman said that the organization claims that the organization claims that the organization claims that the organization claims that the organization claims that the organization claims that the organization claims that the organization claims that the organization claims Controlling Palestinian Territory "would be devastating for the potential to revive negotiations, regional peace and the very essence of a two-state solution."
Netanyahu's promise at the last minute also led to Arab condemnation. On Monday, the Palestinian Authority held a Cabinet meeting in Fasayil, the village on the West Bank near the border with Jordan, to protest Netanyahu's announcement
"The Jordan Valley is part of Palestinian lands and every settlement or annexation is illegal," Sa Mohammed Shtay of the meeting. "We will sue Israel in international courts for exploiting our country and we will continue our fight against occupation on the ground and in international forums."
Netanyahu's political rivals have dismissed his speech about annexation as an election program, pointing out that he has not yet annexed any territory during his more than ten years in office.
Prior to the April election, Netanyahu made a similar promise that he would apply Israeli sovereignty to parts of the West Bank on reelection. On Wednesday, Netanyahu said he had tried to annex the territory, but was shot down by Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit.
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Israel captured the West Bank and East Jerusalem from Jordan in the Six Day War of 1967. More than 2.5 million Palestinians now live in occupied territories, besides nearly 700,000 Jewish people . Palestinians and the international community consider Israeli settlements on the West Bank and East Jerusalem illegal. Israel already annexed East Jerusalem in a move that is not internationally recognized.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.