For American Jews, Trump is key figure in Israeli election

Israel sentences a former French consulate worker to jail for using a diplomatic car to help Palestinian gun smugglers

Israel sentences a former French consulate worker to jail for using a diplomatic car to help Palestinian gun smugglers

With just days until the election, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu pledged that if re-elected, he will annex Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank.

During the interview, Netanyahu depicted the USA policy shifts on Jerusalem and the Golan Heights as his achievements, saying that he had managed to persuade President Trump to take these steps.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said the West Bank, which Israel seized in the 1967 Middle East war, was Palestinian territory and Israel's occupation violated global law.

"We said we will strive for a regionally and globally backed peace agreement while maintaining our basic principles", said Gantz, who heads the centrist Blue and White alliance with popular politician Yair Lapid against Bibi's narrow coalition of ultranationalist and ultra-religious parties.

We will oppose and fight against the annexation, even of a single inch of occupied Palestinian land, and we will demand that [Netanyahu] respect the United Nations resolutions and dismantle all the settlements.

At their March 25 meeting, Trump signed a proclamation officially granting US recognition of the Golan as Israeli territory, a dramatic departure from decades of USA policy.

While Netanyahu has a close relationship with the USA president, Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas cut off relations with Washington after Trump declared the disputed city of Jerusalem Israel's capital in December 2017.

Netanyahu has promoted Jewish settlement expansion in his four terms as prime minister, but until now refrained from presenting a detailed vision for the West Bank, viewed by Palestinians as the heartland of a future state. "This is the end of any chances of peace". "We have a responsibility as the Israeli government".

Netanyahu vowed to annex the occupied West Bank if he wins the general election which is slated for April 9.

"For the past 10 years, Netanyahu has blocked applying Israeli law to even a centimeter of land", Bennett tweeted.

At the local high school, Harel Levi, 18, was not so sure. The West Bank is under Israeli military jurisdiction, although settlers are subject to civilian law, as Israeli citizens. Ultimately, the group and many of its donors backed Trump.

After decades of settlement-building, more than 400,000 Israelis now live in the territory, according to Israeli figures.

On Saturday, Trump made an appearance at a Republican Jewish Coalition event, where he not only touted his administration's relationship with Israel, but also took aim at Democrats, accusing the opposing party of harboring members with anti-Jewish sentiments.

Palestinians argue that Washington did not do enough in practice to press for settlements to be curbed. The settlements have also been the most contentious sticking point in the peace negotiations between Israeli and Palestinian leaders, and the talks have remained stalled since 2014. Annexation could take that off the table.

Netanyahu did not say whether he would seek to annex areas now under Palestinian control under the Oslo Accords. Morag said. The answer, she told Reuters, was that Netanyahu feared for his political survival and "the times dictate he makes these extreme declarations that he has no intention to follow through on".

Israel, Safadi said, must "withdraw from Arab lands occupied since 1967 and allow" the creation of a Palestinian state.

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