Saudi Arabia has sharply condemned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plans to annex the Jordan Valley in the occupied West Bank. Saudi Arabia rejected this announcement „categorically“, it said in a statement of the royal house in Riyadh, which was distributed today by the state news agency SPA.
The announcement was a „very dangerous escalation“ directed against the Palestinian people and a „blatant violation“ of the UN Charter and international law. Saudi Arabia called for an emergency meeting of foreign ministers from the 57 member states of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
Turkey also condemned the plans. Netanyahu’s „election pledge“ is a „racist apartheid state,“ Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu wrote on Twitter. Turkey will „defend to the end“ the rights and interests of its Palestinian brothers and sisters.
Netanyahu wants to expand Israel’s sovereignty
Netanyahu had announced a week before the early parliamentary election in Israel, if he re-elected the Jordan Valley in the West Bank to annex. After winning the election, he would „immediately“ extend Israel’s sovereignty to the area bordering on Jordan. Jordan and the Palestinians immediately warned of catastrophic consequences of such a move. The UN also said that an annexation would have „no legal effect“ internationally.Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin NetanyahuThe Jordan Valley accounts for approximately one-third of the Palestinian territory occupied by Israel since 1967. Israel sees it as an important defense barrier. According to Netanyahu, all Jewish settlements in the Jordan Valley and the „Northern Dead Sea“ are to be annexed – Palestinian towns such as Jericho remained untouched. However, these settlements account for about 90 percent of the area.
Attack on targets in Gaza after rocket attack
After a rocket attack from Gaza, however, Israeli fighters targeted several targets in the coastal strip. This was reported by the Israeli army. It attacked 15 „terrorist targets“, including a weapons production facility and a tunnel in the Gaza Strip ruling Hamas, which was responsible for the rocket attack.
Yesterday evening, an election campaign speech Netanyahu had been interrupted by rocket alarm. The Israeli army said Palestinian militants fired two rockets at Israel.