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Netanyahu: Palestinians in Jordan Valley Won't be Israeli Citizens

Netanyahu: Palestinians in Jordan Valley Won't be Israeli Citizens

Thursday, 28 May, 2020 - 15:30
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem February 16, 2020. Gali Tibbon/Pool via REUTERS
Asharq Al-Awsat

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday that Palestinians living in the Jordan Valley will remain in what he described as an “enclave” after Israel annexes the territory and will not be granted Israeli citizenship.


In an interview with the Israel Hayom newspaper, Netanyahu said Palestinians in the Jordan Valley, including residents of the city of Jericho, would remain under limited Palestinian self-rule, with Israel having overall security control.


“They will remain a Palestinian enclave,” he said. "You’re not annexing Jericho. There’s a cluster or two. You don’t need to apply sovereignty over them. They will remain Palestinian subjects, if you will. But security control also applies to these places.”


Netanyahu has vowed to press ahead with plans to annex the Jordan Valley and Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, in line with President Donald Trump's Middle East plan, a process that could begin as early as July 1.


The annexation of the Jordan Valley and the far-flung settlements would make it virtually impossible to create a viable Palestinian state alongside Israel, which is still widely seen as the only way to resolve the decades-old conflict.


The Trump plan would grant the Palestinians limited statehood over scattered enclaves surrounded by Israel if they meet a long list of conditions. Israel has embraced the plan, while the Palestinian Authority, which administers parts of the West Bank, has angrily rejected it and cut ties with the US and Israel.


The Associated Press quoted Netanyahu as saying that if the Palestinians accept all the conditions in the plan, including Israel maintaining overall security control, “then they will have an entity of their own that President Trump defines as a state.”


Under a coalition agreement reached last month, Netanyahu can bring his annexation plans before the government as early as July 1.


The Palestinian Authority has said it is no longer bound by any agreements signed with Israel and the US, and says it has cut off security coordination with Israel.


Jordan has warned of a “massive conflict” if Israel proceeds with annexation.


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