PM: Israel has ‘full right’ to annex strategic Jordan Valley
Netanyahu adds that during his meeting with Secretary of State Pompeo in Lisbon, the two agreed to move forward with plans for a joint defense treaty; PM also denies reports of him agreeing to serve only 6 months as premier as part of the rotation agreement with Blue and White
Associated Press,Ynet|Updated: 12.05.19 , 20:55
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says his country has the “full right” to annex the Jordan Valley.
Netanyahu said his proposal to annex the strategic part of the West Bank was discussed during a late-night meeting in Lisbon, Portugal with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.In a report Thursday, the ICC’s chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, said her office was following “with concern” the Israeli proposal. But Netanyahu told reporters it was Israel’s “full right to do so, if we choose so.”Netanyahu also said they agreed to move forward with plans for a joint defense treaty.Israeli defense officials, including Blue and White leader Benny Gantz, have expressed concern that such a pact could limit Israel’s freedom to operate militarily. Netanyahu said he was aware of the reservations but assured that it was a “historic opportunity” and Israel would not be limited to act against archenemy Iran.The Trump administration has already delivered a number of landmark victories to Netanyahu, recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and recognizing Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights.
Netanyahu, beleaguered by a corruption indictment and political instability at home, is promoting the two initiatives as a rationale for his staying in office.When asked about reports that he’d agreed to serve only six months as premier in a unity government as part of a rotation deal with the Blue and White party, Netanyahu said, “I don’t want six months, I want two years.”Israel’s leader then addressed a possible long-term ceasefire arrangement with Hamas, saying Gaza’s rulers have been “seeking the agreement for a long time.””There is a possibility to promote the arrangement,” he said. “It doesn’t mean they would recognize us, and we would recognize them, but I think it is possible to reach the deal. We are working on it at this very moment.”