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Israeli PM vows to launch annexation of West Bank


Israeli PM vows to launch annexation of West Bank

Israel Reuters
Photo: Reuters

Today marks the earliest possible initiation of Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s proposed annexation of 30% of the West Bank.

Following harsh criticism from the international community and Arab world, the Israeli government reportedly downgraded its ambitions to a partial annexation, which would likely exert sovereignty over blocs with high population densities in lieu of strategic settlements within the Jordan Valley.

Successful annexation of the West Bank—home to 3 million Palestinian Arabs and widely perceived as the centre of any future Palestinian state—could prompt rapid diplomatic degradation and bloodshed as the two populations converge, walls are erected and security forces are deployed.

Expect today’s events to constitute a pivotal moment in the evolution of Israel-Palestine relations. A forceful Israeli pursuit of the West Bank could place its Palestinian population at risk of forced migration, drastically reduce the likelihood of an eventual two-state solution and potentially lay the foundations for another intifada in the short-term. However, reports indicate that the annexation plan, which has suffered from a profound lack of transparency and numerous last-minute changes, will likely be shifted to the back burner for the time being as the Israeli government prioritises its domestic COVID-19 response.

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