West Bank Annexation Plans Face Major Hurdles

  • Netanyahu is unhappy with the coalition government arrangement.
  • Gantz has had a change of heart on the West Bank annexation plans.
  • Netanyahu might trigger another election if Gantz opposes his plans.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has the ambition to eventually etch his name in the history books as the leader who annexed the West Bank. The move will be a crucial milestone in his legacy. His annexation plans are, however, set to hit a few major hurdles.

Annexation of the Jordan Valley is the proposed application of Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley. The idea has been advocated by some Israeli politicians since the Israeli occupation of the West Bank began in 1967, most notably with the Allon Plan and the 2019 Netanyahu plan.

His unity government with Benny Gantz requires that both leaders agree on the decision before the process can begin. Although Gantz has, in the past, publicly supported the move, he has also, in recent weeks, shown some aversion to the plan. This puts Netanyahu’s plans in jeopardy.

Netanyahu also requires US support to go ahead with the expropriation. Although the US has given Israel tremendous leeway in going about the process, it is likely to require that the two leaders agree on the matter before the endeavor can be approved. This could mean that the two leaders will be locked in a bad marriage with little dividends, if any, for Netanyahu. He is particularly intent on holding on to power as his breach of trust and bribery trial plays out in court.

Netanyahu Threatens to Push the Country to Another Gridlocked Election   

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reportedly given Defense Minister Benny Gantz a difficult proposition out of the current stalemate. He has given his coalition partner the chance to support the West Bank annexation proposal or endure another round of elections, which will mean effectively voiding his position in government.

Gantz allegedly opposes a unilateral move that will effectively put the West Bank under Israeli control with no benefit to Palestinians. According to the Yisrael Hayom publication, Gantz has reportedly attempted to tie the annexation to the national budget. Netanyahu has responded by threatening that there will be no unity government without sovereignty over the West Bank region.

Legislative elections were held in Israel on 2 March 2020 to elect members of the twenty-third Knesset. They were the third snap elections to be held within a year, after two inconclusive elections in April and September 2019.

Opposition to Annexation

A collective of nations oppose Israel’s West Bank annexation plans. Among them are members of the EU, and the UK. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently declared that the UK will strongly resist the plan to take over the occupied zone.

“I believe that what is proposed by Israel would amount to a breach of international law and we strongly object to it, and we believe profoundly in a two-state solution and will continue to make that case. We have strongly objected. We believe profoundly in a two-state solution and we will continue to make that case.”

Hamas, the Palestinian fundamentalist militant group, has also called upon Palestinians to unite and resist the move. Salah al-Bardawil, a Senior Hamas official, recently stated that it is upon Palestinians to safeguard their freedom. “It is the duty of each free Palestinian citizen to rise up against this flagrant aggression on our land,” he said.

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Samuel Gush

Samuel Gush is a Technology, Entertainment, and Political News writer at Communal News.

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