Israeli PM 'would annex swathe of West Bank'
Benjamin Netanyahu said yesterday he would annex a large swathe of the occupied West Bank into Israel if he wins next week's election, a move that could shatter any lingering hopes of creating a future Palestinian state.
The Israeli prime minister said that if he is re-elected next Tuesday, he would annex part of the Jordan Valley which forms a strategic strip bordering Jordan and constitutes about a third of the West Bank.
The move would fundamentally redraw Israel's borders and force the international community to ask whether there was any possibility of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
"We haven't had such an opportunity since the Six-Day War [in 1967] and I doubt we will have another opportunity in the next 50 years," he said.
Mr Netanyahu's announcement was widely seen within Israel as a pre-election stunt.
Senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat said if Mr Netanyahu went ahead "he will have buried any chance for peace for the next 100 years. Israelis and the international community must stop this insanity".