The Palestinian Liberation Organization accused on Saturday Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of planning to annex 75 percent of Area C of the occupied West Bank.
A report prepared by the National Office for the Defense of Land and Resistance of Settlement said Netanyahu’s recent declaration to annex the Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea if he wins the September 17 elections, is just the tip of the iceberg.
It said Highway 80 would apparently serve as a border of the targeted area.
Last Tuesday, Netanyahu pledged that Israel will establish its sovereignty over the Jordan Valley if his party wins the upcoming elections, drawing criticism from the Palestinians, as well as countries in the Middle East, including Jordan, Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
According to the National Office report, the area targeted by the PM is 1,236,278 hectares, equivalent to 22.3 percent of the West Bank, on which 30 settlements and 23 outposts have been constructed and are inhabited by 12,778 settlers.
Palestinians in Area A and B, which are entirely under the control of the Palestinian Authority, will include 15 communities with a population of 44,175. They cover an area of 250,000 dunams (250 square kilometers) of Palestinian land, the office highlighted.
If Netanyahu annexes this area, it means the end of the dream to establish a Palestinian state based on the 1967 annexed territories.
Meanwhile, former US ambassador to Israel and the second of the Obama administration’s three Mideast peace envoys, Martin Indyk, criticized Netanyahu for not disclosing the true facts in his claim that he had stopped an effort by electoral rival Benny Gantz, of the Blue and White party, to support an Obama-era settlement withdrawal plan.
In a tweet Saturday, he said Netanyahu showed enthusiasm towards the plan, and it was his then-Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon --now a senior member of Gantz’s party - who stopped the discussions.