Days ahead of Israel’s elections, Netanyahu announced in a recent television interview that he would annex Israeli settlements in the West Bank if reelected, clarifying that “no Israeli” would be evicted from their homes in Judea or Samaria; PM highlights Israel’s growth over the past decade in military, economic and political power under his leadership.
Over the weekend, Prime Minister Netanyahu reported in an interview that there would not be a Palestinian state under a Netanyahu government and that no one from Israeli settlements in Judea and Samaria would be evicted. He confirmed that he told this directly to President Trump during his recent visit to Washington and just ahead of the President’s publishing of the peace deal sometime later this month. He stated, “I said there can’t be the removal of even one settlement as well as our continued control of all the territory to the west of the Jordan.” He also clarified “I am going to extend Israel’s sovereignty and I don’t distinguish between settlement blocs and the isolated settlements.”
The prime minister has been actively campaigning and interviewing ahead of Israel’s elections this Tuesday as polls show a lead for the opposition coalition, the Blue and White Party. During a presentation before his political party Likud last week, Prime Minister Netanyahu highlighted Israel’s accomplishments and astronomical growth over the past decade, specifically highlighting its accomplishments under his governments. Referring to Israel’s military, economic and political strength, he reminded the Israeli public of the State of Israel’s success and growth into a global power.
Netanyahu spoke of Israel’s military strength and history, referring to its advanced technologies and ability to protect itself amidst regional threats, like Iran and Syria. He stated Tuesday, “In order to guarantee our future is different than our past we must have military power… due to our excellence, we are now the 8th strongest country in the world,” referring to Israel’s ranking by US News & World Report this year. He cited the F-35, southern smart border fence and Iron Dome as just a few of its military achievements.
He also spoke of Israel’s economic power, most recently exemplified in Intel’s purchase of Mobileye and Israel’s booming market within the automobile sector. He referred to his time as Finance Minister in 2003 during a domestic financial crisis and his ability to lead the State of Israel out of it, speaking of the several reforms he made that led to Israel’s strong economy today. He praised Israel’s growth from “a developing economy to a developed economy” in a short period of time. He highlighted Israel as a leading player within fields of big data, connectivity and wireless construction overtaking the energy sector, boasting “Israel is not a small country in these fields- it is a huge country!”
On political power, which he stated cannot exist without military and economic power, the prime minister praised Israel’s new and influential ties with countries that did not have relations with Israel until recently. He spoke of his time and efforts over the last two years alone that led to established and stronger ties with Australia, Russia, China, India, Japan, African states and Brazil. He also gave examples of his work with Arab states that led to Israeli flights flying over Saudi Arabia for the first time in Israel’s history, as well as the first visit by an Israeli official to Oman.
The prime minister’s plan to annex Israeli settlements led to regional and global condemnation Sunday. Turkey took to attacking Israel, it’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu scolding Netanyahu and claiming, “The West Bank is Palestinian territory occupied by Israel in violation of international law. Prime Minister Netanyahu’s irresponsible statement to seek votes just before the Israeli general elections cannot and will not change this fact.” Senior Palestinian official, Saeb Erekat, responded to Netanyahu’s announcement stating, “Israel will continue to brazenly violate international law for as long as the international community will continue to reward Israel with impunity, particularly with the Trump Administration’s support and endorsement of Israel’s violation of the national and human rights of the people of Palestine.”
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