RNA - In an interview on Saturday, Netanyahu said he would not shy away from expanding Israel’s illegal annexations to cover the West Bank, a land currently accommodated by settlers which Israeli regime occupied in the 1967 Middle East war.
“Who says that we won’t do it? We are on the way and we are discussing it,” Netanyahu said while responding to a question from the Israeli Channel 12 News on why he had not annexed the West Bank like the occupied east Jerusalem al-Quds and Syria’s Golan Heights.
“You are asking whether we are moving on to the next stage - the answer is yes, we will move to the next stage,” he said, adding, “I don’t distinguish between settlement blocs and the isolated settlements.”
The comments come just three days before Israel’s April 9 election where Netanyahu is seeking a reelection despite widespread allegations of graft and financial wrongdoing affecting him and his family.
They also come following a controversial move by the United States to recognize Israel’s annexation of Syria’s Golan Heights.
Netanyahu had previously said that the fate of the West Bank, where the Palestinian government has its sit of power in the capital Ramallah, should be decided in talks with the Palestinians who seek to establish their own state in the territory.
A spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Netanyahu’s new comments, which many believe have been made to change the tide in his favor in the upcoming election, would not affect the illegal nature of the Israeli settlements in the West Bank which currently hosts some 400,000 settlers.
“Any measures and any announcements will not change the facts. Settlements are illegal and they will be removed,” said Nabil Abu Rdainah.
A majority of countries in the world consider Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, the East Jerusalem al-Quds, and the Golan Height as illegal under the Geneva conventions that bar settling on land captured in war.