Proposed Israeli annexation of the West Bank
Israeli law has been applied to Israeli settlements throughout the West Bank, leading to a system of "enclave law" and claims of "creeping annexation".
Annexation of the Jordan Valley, first proposed in the 1967 Allon Plan, was announced by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in September 2019 as his plan, subject to the outcome of the September 2019 Israeli legislative election.
Annexation of Israeli settlements
Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and his center-right Likud party do not have a coherent stance on the status of the West Bank. In 2009, Netanyahu endorsed the two-state solution, but before the April 2019 Israeli legislative election, he stated his intention of unilaterally annexing Israeli settlements in the West Bank. However, since this was a throwaway remark made without addressing the international opposition to such an action, it is unclear whether Netanyahu intends to follow through.
Annexation of the Jordan Valley
On 10 September 2019 (shortly before the September 2019 Israeli legislative election) Netanyahu announced his government's plan to annex the Jordan Valley, if it won the election. He also reaffirmed his previous pledge to annex all Jewish settlements throughout the West Bank, but said such a move would not be made before publication of a long-awaited United States peace plan and consultations with President Donald Trump. According to B'Tselem, 65,000 Palestinians and about 11,000 Israeli settlers live in the area.According to PeaceNow, the proposal includes 30 settlements with 12,778 settlers, 18 illegal outposts, 15 Area A and B communities, including 44,175 Palestinians planned to remain under the nominal autonomous rule of the Palestinian Authority, surrounded by annexed territory with access roads, described by PeaceNow as "..alarmingly similar to the Bantustan formula in former Apartheid South Africa" 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 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, with the former chief of staff and opposition Blue and White MK Moshe Ya'alon saying that Netanyahu had been prepared to evacuate Jordan Valley settlements in 2014.
Annexation of Area C
The West Bank is divided into Area A, Area B, and Area C. Area C contains 60% of the West Bank's area and all Israeli settlements. According to OCHA there are about 300 thousand Palestinians in Area C (B'tselem estimates between 180 and 300,000) compared to some 2.8 million in Areas A and B. The Jewish Home party's official position is in support of annexing Area C alone, although some of its MKs support annexation of the entire West Bank. Leading up to the April 2019 elections, the New Right party, led by Naftali Bennett, Israeli foreign minister and Ayelet Shaked, justice minister, advocated for the unilateral annexation of Area C. Bennett estimates that his plan would involve offering Israeli citizenship to some 80,000 Palestinians living in Area C, which contradicts the UN estimate of 297,000 Palestinians in Area C.
Annexation of the entire West Bank
Caroline Glick, a New Right MK candidate in the April 2019 elections, supports annexation of the entire West Bank. Glick supports an application process for Israeli citizenship to Palestinians living in annexed areas, and anticipates that not all Palestinians would desire Israeli citizenship or be eligible.
A 2019 Haaretz poll investigated support for annexation among Israelis. According to the survey, 30% did not know, 28% of Israelis opposed any annexation and 15% supported annexing Area C alone. 27% wanted to annex the entire West Bank including 16% who opposed granting political rights to Palestinians and 11% who favored granting political rights.
In 2014, Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid said that his centrist party would leave the governing coalition and topple the government if any West Bank settlements were annexed. Tzipi Livni, leader of the centrist Hatnuah party, also said that Hatnuah would leave the coalition in the event of annexation. However, both parties support annexation of the settlement blocs after a permanent resolution of the conflict has been negotiated. Yisrael Beytenu supports redrawing the borders in order to keep as many Jews as possible within the Jewish state while transferring some Israeli Arab towns to the Palestinian state, with some Jewish settlements in the West Bank to be annexed to Israel.
The left-wing opposition parties, Labor Party and Meretz, also oppose annexation, as do the Arab parties, which insist on Israeli withdrawal to behind the Green Line. Commanders for Israel's Security, an association of retired Israeli military officers, opposes West Bank annexation.
In June 2019, the Donald Trump administration indicated that it might not object to the Israeli government's possible annexation of Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Five senators from the opposition Democratic Party introduced a resolution condemning the idea. The Trump administration had earlier recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in December 2018 and recognized the Golan Heights as part of Israel in March 2019.
The West Bank is internationally recognized as held under military occupation by Israel, though Israel disputes this and has created nearly 200 Israeli settlements there. According to Yuval Shany, an Israeli annexation would likely be opposed internationally because the plan would violate multiple principles. Firstly, the principle of territorial integrity, that territories should not be acquired by war, as stated in the preamble to United Nations Security Council Resolution 242, in several U.N. resolutions proclaiming the status of the West Bank as occupied Palestinian territory and in the International Court of Justice's advisory opinion on the Wall. Secondly, it would violate the vision of a two-state solution set forth in the Oslo Accords. Thirdly, the permanent and day-to-day control of a civilian population by a foreign power, denying it the right to naturalize or participate in politics, would perpetuate a democratic deficit.
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