Courting Israel’s right-wing parties and voters in the lead-up to parliamentary elections, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a pledge that threatened to redraw the map of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Netanyahu said he would annex the Israeli settlements built on Palestinian land in the West Bank—considered illegal under international law—if he won a fifth term. Such a move could jeopardize the chance of achieving a long-sought “two-state solution”—a plan for independent Israeli and Palestinian nations existing alongside each other. “I’m going to extend sovereignty,” he said in a live television interview. “I don’t distinguish between the settlement blocs and the isolated ones, because each settlement is Israeli and I will not hand it over to Palestinian sovereignty,” he added. “I will not divide Jerusalem, I will not evacuate any community and I will make sure we control the territory west of Jordan.” Earlier this month, Netanyahu’s party secured the largest number of votes in the Knesset and appeared poised to form a new governing coalition. At a Likud party victory event on Tuesday, Netanyahu said he would “safeguard democracy” in his fifth term in office. “I want all parts of Israeli society, Jews and non-Jews alike, to be part of the… Read full this story
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