Israeli leader vows to annex West Bank settlement enclave

USA World
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs during the weekly cabinet meeting being held in the Jordan Valley, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019. Netanyahu convened his final pre-election cabinet meeting in a part of the West Bank that he’s vowed to annex if re-elected. National elections are on Tuesday. (Amir Cohen/Pool via AP)

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel’s prime minister is vowing to annex settlements in the West Bank, including one deep in the heart of the largest Palestinian city, if he is re-elected in tomorrow’s do-over election.

Benjamin Netanyahu told Israeli Army Radio on Monday that he plans to annex “all the settlements” in the West Bank. When asked if that included an enclave of several hundred settlers who live in volatile Hebron, he said: “Of course.”

Netanyahu is fighting for his political survival in the vote. He has doled out hard-line promises weeks before the vote trying to shore up nationalist voters. He’s also promised to annex the Jordan Valley, an area seen as the breadbasket of any Palestinian state.

Critics say his pledges would eliminate any remaining Palestinian hope of establishing a separate state.

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