The ‘Annexation’
In 2019, before the Israeli elections in April, PM Benjamin Netanyahu had stated that he had plans to annex the Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
. In September 2019, Netanyahu again said that his government was considering annexing the Jordan Valley if he were to be re-elected.

What is the West Bank?

The West Bank is the territory west of the Jordan River. . On the east = Jordan.
Since the Six-Day War in 1967 , the West Bank has been occupied by Israel. 2 -3 million Palestinian Arabs live in the West Bank.

Why is the ‘Annexation’ controversial?

These annexation plans have been extremely controversial because it would mean Israel unilaterally declaring sovereignty over parts of occupied Palestinian territory in the West Bank.
It would be contrary to the two-state solution.

What is happening right now ?

■ 1 July — Set date — No announcement made
■ Benny Gantz, Alternate Prime Minister and Minister for Defence of Israel, said this past week that any plans for annexation must be kept on hold keeping in mind the coronavirus outbreak.
■ Israel trying to cool off the heat from International outrage?

The Settlements

The Palestinians who live in the West Bank live under Israeli military rule, as well as limited self-rule.
Also present in the West Bank are some 132 Israeli settlements and 124 unauthorised settlements, along with military outposts. . 4,30,000 Israeli Jews live in West Bank
The larger international community does not believe these settlements are legal, and considers these settlements to be illegal under the provisions of international law.
. USA — Supports right now
The areas earmarked for annexation may comprise about 30% of the West Bank, according to reports.

Who rules the West Bank?

In practice, Israeli (Country in the Middle East) laws already apply to settlers, though not to Palestinians, who are subject only to Israeli military forces orders and Palestinian laws
PM Benjamin Netanyahu may initially act to annex just the settlements, which could amount to only 3% of the West Bank. The remaining 27% may have to wait until the boundaries are agreed with Washington (US).

Why Annex?

. Strategic Reasons.
Israel has faced invasions from Jordan before
. An IDF military presence in the Jordan Valley is arguably vital to protecting Israel from another hypothetical invasion in the future.
A blow to ‘Two — state’ solution
Palestinians have sought the entire territory of the West Bank and the Gaza strip for an independent Palestinian state in the future.
Israel (Country in the Middle East), on the other hand, claims that it has historical and religious rights over the West Bank because it believes that the territory is the ancestral land of the Jewish people.
The Palestinian believe that the annexation would prevent their access to essential water resources and key agricultural land, particularly in the Jordan Valley.
Annexing Jordan valley would mean seizing land that’s vital to any future Palestinian state’s success effectively dismantling the peace process.

International Reaction

UN + most western countries have criticised Israel for this unilateral action.

Impact

■ Palestine declaring an Independent state of its own
■ Full blown war between Israel and Palestinians
■ A new wave of `Intifida’

Israel West Bank annexation plan explained Israel West Bank annexation plan explained