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The implications of Israel annexation plan of Jordan Valley

May 30,2020 - Last updated at May 30,2020

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has revived an old Zionist ambition to annex Jerusalem, the Golan Heights and the Jordan Valley region, planned by the Israeli general Yigal Allon one year after the 1967 war, with the false assumptions of providing security to the already nuclear power Israel. This move is in clear violation of UN Resolutions 242, 338 and other international laws. 

In January 2020, US President Donald Trump unveiled his fully biased Israel-Palestine peace plan (Deal of the Century) which proposed that Israel annex parts of the West Bank in exchange for the recognition of a fragmented Palestinian state with no control over its borders or airspace. Both Netanyahu and his coalition partner Bennie Gantz have pledged to annex the Jordan Valley region if they are able to form government, this issue is hugely popular with the Israeli right-wing, which views the territory as rightfully belonging to the Jewish people on religious and historic grounds, regardless of its implications on Israel’s future as a Jewish democracy.

When Netanyahu reached a power-sharing agreement to form a new government after three inconclusive elections, the agreement stipulated the annexation plan to start on July 1, the plan has been rejected not only by most global and regional governments, but by the Israel Policy Forum including 220 retired Israeli generals, 149  prominent American Jewish leaders members and 11 members of the US congress, whom all warned of the negative consequences of the annexation on two-state solution and the risk of undermining US regional strategic stance and  Israel’s peace treaties with Jordan and Egypt.

Netanyahu’s decision is supported by US president Donald Trump who has been completely biased towards Israel. Successive US leaders, whether Democrat or Republican, had gave a complete political, economic and military support to Israel, but not have been as baised in their support as President Trump, who promised to recognize Israel's annexation of almost 2,400 square kilometres, one third of the West Bank that includes 30 Israeli agricultural settlements, inhabited by 11,000 settlers and 54.000 Palestinians, Trump had moved the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, recognized Israel’s annexation of the occupied Syrian territories in Golan Heights despite its illegality, and his administration has declared that it does see Israel’s illegal settlements as ‘consistent’ with international law.

The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) position have been weakened by the faction of its two main political groups, Hamas and Fateh, weakening the already weak President Mahmoud Abbas, who considered the move; as an existential threat that will end the two-state solution to establish a viable, contiguous Palestinian state, which has been the focus of international diplomacy, forcing him to announce an end to all agreements and understandings with Israel and the United States and announcing that Israeli annexation of any parts of the West Bank would ruin any chance to establish a Palestinian state, the ultimate objective of the Palestinian people.

Jordan has been clear in rejecting the Israeli plan that violates the peace agreement, which specifies historic and social ties with the PNA, and Jordan’s role as the custodian of the Muslim and Christian holy places in occupied East Jerusalem, also sharing 335km of borders with Israel and the West Bank, include a 97km stretch along the border with Jordan, including two crossings - the Sheikh Hussein Bridge and King Hussein Bridge crossing.

Meanwhile, Jordan threatened to review its relationship with Israel if Israel goes ahead with its controversial plans. King Abdullah II warned in the German magazine Der Spiegel interview that the Israeli plans could lead to "massive conflict", adding that the Hashemite Kingdom was "considering all options.” On the other hand, Prime Minister Omar Razzaz said in a statement to the media that  “We will not accept unilateral Israeli moves to annex Palestinian lands and we would be forced to review all aspects of our relations with Israel.

Jordan’s main concerns that the annexation will result in the collapse of the PNA entity, since it will prove its failure to the Palestinian people in delivering peace and prosperity, turning people more to the right towards Hamas positions, which is trying to exploit any security and social upheavals in the West Bank that could overspill to Jordan. The plan will also lead to the collapse of the Palestinian security agencies, loosening its control on the public resulting in a chaotic situation in PNA territories leading to new influx of refugees, which Jordan is already saturated with, in addition to the economic and financial problems that could aggravate economic dire conditions Jordan is suffering from.

Netanyahu attempt to run from his corruption problems by achieving a legacy of controlling more Arab land through annexation will do more damage to Israel security in the long run. Israel needs to reconsider its annexation plan before the damage is done to the peace agreements with its Arab neighbours, the plan will not serve peace, security nor stability of Israel, and will damage any future plans to a negotiated two state solution, forcing the creation of a pariah apartheid Jewish state.

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