West Bank: Arab leaders have denounced Benjamin Netanyahu’s plan to annex large swathes of the Palestinian territories if he is re-elected next week as an election stunt that would “kill all chances for peace”. The Arab League held an emergency session on Tuesday evening after the Israeli prime minister announced the plan in a live press conference.
Netanyahu, who is fighting for his political life ahead of elections on 17 September, said he would permanently seize up to one third of the West Bank, a decision that for decades has been considered an endgame scenario for Palestinians’ aspirations of statehood.
“We haven’t had this kind of opportunity since the  six-day war, and may not have it again for another 50 years,” Netanyahu said, referring to the war in which Israel captured the land.
Arab foreign ministers meeting in Cairo condemned the plan as “a dangerous development and a new Israeli aggression by declaring the intention to violate the international law”.
“The league regards these statements as undermining the chances of any progress in the peace process and will torpedo all its foundations,” the ministers said.
Jordan’s foreign minister Ayman Safadi said Netanyahu’s plan was an outrageous election ploy and a “dangerous escalation that shatters the foundations of the peace process”.
Netanyahu made the announcement in front of a large map showing Israeli sovereignty extending over the vast majority of the Jordan Valley and slicing off the eastern border with Jordan.