Annexation of the Jordan Valley
Annexation of the Jordan Valley is the proposed application of Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley. The idea has been advocated by some Israeli politicians since the Israeli occupation of the West Bank began in 1967, most notably with the Allon Plan and the 2020 Trump peace plan.
The Jordan Valley
According to B'Tselem, 65,000 Palestinians and about 11,000 Israeli settlers live in the area. According to Peace Now, the proposal includes 30 settlements with 12,778 settlers, 18 illegal outposts, 15 Area A and B communities, including 44,175 Palestinians and 48 shepherding communities in Area C including 8,775 Palestinians. The area to be annexed is about 22% of the West Bank, 90% of which is in Area C and 20% of the land is Palestinian-owned.
The Allon Plan was a plan to partition the West Bank between Israel and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, create a Druze state in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, and return most of the Sinai Peninsula to Arab control. The plan was drafted by Israeli Minister Yigal Allon shortly after the Six-Day War in June 1967. The broad aim of the plan was to annex most of the Jordan Valley from the river to the eastern slopes of the West Bank hill ridge, East Jerusalem, and the Etzion bloc, to Israel. The remaining parts of the West Bank, containing most of the Palestinian population, were to become Palestinian autonomous territory, or would return to Jordan, including a corridor to Jordan through Jericho. The Jordanian King Hussein rejected the plan. Allon died in 1980, and the following year the Israeli government passed the Golan Heights Law, effectively annexing most of the governorate.
On 10 September 2019 (a week before the September 2019 Israeli legislative election), Netanyahu announced his government's plan to annex the Jordan Valley, if it won the election. The map that Netanyahu displayed of the area to be annexed had several errors, incorrectly noting the location of several settlements and omitting Palestinian villages. Netanyahu said that he had received a green light from the United States' Donald Trump administration. The administration said that there had been no change in United States policy.
The next day, there was international condemnation of the proposal from Palestinians, the Arab league, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Turkey, the UK and the UN, the latter stating "... that any Israeli move to impose its administration over the Palestinian territory would be illegal under international law." Several Israeli politicians from across the political spectrum and Hebrew media outlets described this announcement as a political stunt for votes. Most notably, Moshe Ya'alon, a Knesset Member from the Blue and White party, said that in 2014 Netanyahu agreed in principle to evacuate Jordan Valley settlements. In 2014 Ya'alon was in Netanyahu's Likud Party, serving under Netanyahu as the Minister of Defense.
In 13 August 2020, Prime Minister Netanyahu agreed to suspend the plan after signing Israel–United Arab Emirates peace agreement, brokered by the United States.
- "The Jordan Valley". B'Tselem. 2017-11-17. Retrieved 2019-09-15.
- "Netanyahu announces post-election plan to annex Jordan Valley". Aljazeera. 11 September 2019. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
- "Data on Netanyahu's Jordan Valley Annexation Map". PeaceNow. 2019-09-11. Retrieved 2019-09-15.
- Avi Shlaim, 2001, The Iron Wall: "Victory in the Six-Day War marked the beginning of a new era in Israel's history – an era of uncertainty. The victory reopened the old question about the territorial aims of Zionism...The question was what to do with these territories, and to this question there was no simple answer... On 26 July he [Allon] submitted to the cabinet a plan that was to bear his name [The Allon Plan]. It called for incorporating in Israel the following areas: a strip of land ten to fifteen kilometers wide along the Jordan River; most of the Judean desert along the Dead Sea; and a substantial area around Greater Jerusalem, including the Latrun salient. Designed to include as few Arabs as possible in the area claimed for Israel, the plan envisaged building permanent settlements and army bases in these areas. Finally, it called for opening negotiations with local leaders on turning the remaining parts of the West Bank into an autonomous region that would be economically linked to Israel. The cabinet discussed Allon's plan but neither adopted nor rejected it."
- Kenneth W. Stein, 1999, Heroic Diplomacy: Sadat, Kissinger, Carter, Begin and the Quest for Arab-Israeli Peace: "Submitted to several Israeli Cabinets for approval but not officially endorsed, the Allon Plan was initially presented in July 1967. The plan’s core assumptions included defensible borders as defined by Israel, a return of the densely populated areas to a 'Jordanian-Palestinian state' with Israel retaining control of the Jordan Rift Valley and mountain ridges to the west from Nablus to Hebron. Under the plan, Israel would assert and sustain military presence over the West Bank up to the Jordan River, the West Bank would be demilitarized, the Palestinians would be provided self-administration in an autonomous or semiautonomous region, and Israel would remain in full control over a united Jerusalem, with perhaps a Jordanian status in the Muslim quarter of the Old City. Israeli leaders then ruled out the possibility of incorporating the West Bank Palestinian population into a greater Israel because it would have dramatically changed the states Jewish demographic orientation. When the Allon Plan was officially offered to the king [of Jordan] in cordial and secret talks in September 1968, Hussein rejected it because he felt it 'infringed on Jordanian sovereignty.' Nonetheless, the Allon Plan served as a basis for the Labor Party election platforms in 1974, 1977, 1981, 1984, and 1987. The concept of providing autonomy or self-administration for the Palestinians was offered by Israeli Prime Minister Begin to Sadat in December 1977 and enshrined in both the September 1978 Camp David and the September 1993 Oslo Accords."
- Yehudit Auerbach, 1991, Journal of Conflict Resolution, "Attitudes to an Existence Conflict: Allon and Peres on the Palestinian Issue, 1967–1987": "The [Allon] plan called for a political settlement of the conflict between Israel and the Arab states, based on the following themes: Israel would not return to the June 4, 1967 borders; the Jordan River would be Israel's defense border; Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, would remain united; and a solution to the Palestinian problem would be found as part of a peace agreement with Jordan. This plan was never officially adopted by Israel's government, although it has never been rejected either. Moreover, it shaped, to a great extent, Israel's settlement policy in the West Bank and Gaza during the years from 1967 to 1977."
- Daraghmeh, Mohammed; Heller, Aron (11 September 2019). "A look at the Jordan Valley Israeli PM has vowed to annex". AP News. Retrieved 14 September 2019.
- Magid, Jacob (12 September 2019). "PM's Jordan Valley map was error-strewn, but is his vow worth taking seriously?". Times of Israel. Retrieved 14 September 2019.
- "Netanyahu vows to annex all settlements, starting with Jordan Valley". The Jerusalem Post.
- Smith, Saphora; Goldman, Paul (11 September 2019). "Netanyahu seeks to annex West Bank 'in coordination' with U.S." NBC News.
- Trew, Bel (11 September 2019). "'Devastating': Global condemnation after Netanyahu pledges to annex Jordan Valley, in occupied West Bank". The Independent. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
- "Netanyahu's Jordan Valley sovereignty vow widely panned by politicians as 'spin'". The Times of Israel. 11 September 2019. Retrieved 11 September 2019.