JERUSALEM, Saturday, April 06, 2019 (WAFA) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hinted on Friday that he may annex Area C of the occupied West Bank, which remained under full Israeli military control following the signing of the Oslo accords in 1993 when the West Bank was broken down into Areas A (the cities under Palestinian control), B (the villages administered by the Palestinians but security in Israel‘s hands), and C (totally under Israeli control).
When asked by the right-wing Hebrew daily, Israel Hayoum, which advocates his political line, if he will stop short of annexing Area C with its Palestinian dwellers, Netanyahu said in the interview conducted few days before the Israeli national elections, “I promise that you will be surprised. I cannot talk about the plan, but (US President Donald) Trump is a big friend and I doubt there will ever be any bigger friend than him.”
Trump has offered Israel in December of 2017 Jerusalem as its capital and moved in May of last year the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and last month recognized the occupied Syrian Golan Heights as part of Israel, leading to speculation that he may also recognize Israel’s illegal hold on Area C, which makes over 60 percent of the area of the occupied West Bank.
Netanyahu, who is struggling for his political survival with a number of corruption charges against him, said that any peace plan with the Palestinians has to incorporate three of his conditions: no removal of any settler, let alone settlement, from the West Bank, second, full Israeli control over the West Bank, and not only the settlements, and, third, Jerusalem will not be divided.
He said he told Trump’s Mideast envoys that unless their so-called deal of the century plan accepts these three conditions, it will have no chance of success.
When asked about the future of the Gaza Strip, Netanyahu said that he supports the separation of the West Bank from the Gaza Strip, which he said that “on the long run, this is something not bad for Israel.”
He said he opposes the return of the Palestinian Authority to control Gaza once again after Hamas broke it away from the West Bank with its 2007 coup.