Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced his intention to annex the Jordan Valley, a large swathe of the occupied West Bank, if he wins next week’s election in a closely contested race. Israel goes to the polls on September 17.
Israel has occupied the West Bank since 1967 but stopped short of annexation.
In a televised speech, Netanyahu had also said he would annex all Jewish settlements in the West Bank, but this would need to wait until the publication of US President Donald Trump’s long-awaited plan for a peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians.
Palestinians claim the whole of the West Bank for a future independent state.
Netanyahu previously insisted Israel would always retain a presence in the Jordan Valley for security purposes.