Israel could annex parts of West Bank in coming years - Netanyahu

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Netanyahu has faced fierce criticism both in Israel and among Jewish communities worldwide for his open alliance this election campaign with far-right elements who espouse the beliefs of the late Meir Kahane.

Netanyahu spent the last week of the previous election campaign giving interview after interview and warning that the right-wing government was in danger if people didn't vote for the Likud. In the eyes of most of the world, it would also be a violation of global law that bars the annexation of land seized in war.

In March, Trump broke with decades of global consensus by recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, territory Israel captured from Syria.

Applying sovereignty to Israeli settlements on West Bank land that the Palestinians demand for a future state, presumably along with the roads and infrastructure tethering those places to the rest of Israel, would leave the Palestinians at best with an archipelago of disconnected territory.

Most world nations consider the West Bank, as well as other territories seized by Israel following the 1967 war, occupied.

According to The Times of Israel, Netanyahu's pledge Saturday came a day after he said on Israel's Channel 13 news that he told President Trump that he would not evacuate "a single person" from any of the settlements.

"Who says that we won't do it?" "All the settlements, without exception, those that are in blocs and those that aren't, need to remain under Israeli sovereignty", the PM said, during an interview recorded on Wednesday. "We will move to the next stage".

The prime minister also explained that he would not distinguish between large settlement blocs and isolated Jewish settlements. "Actually it is doing more of the wrong things by suffocating Palestinians", the Jordanian foreign minister said, referring to the Israeli-blockaded Gaza Strip. "Settlements are illegal and they will be removed".

"The US-Israel relationship is one of the most important relationships that we have on the planet, and that relationship, if it is successful, must transcend partisanship in the United States, and it must be able to transcend a prime minister who is racist, as he warns against Arabs coming to the polls", O'Rourke said.

What is the political background?

He has encouraged the racist anti-Arab Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Power) to join forces with a somewhat more mainstream party, which could enable it to pass the threshold to gain seats in the Knesset and ensure Netanyahu with another partner in his right-wing coalition.

In Israel's system of proportional representation, the party with the most support still needs other parties to gain a majority in parliament and to form a government.

In Mr Netanyahu's own Likud party, 28 out of the 29 lawmakers running for re-election are on record as supporting this approach.

He added that Palestinians would "resist" such a policy if carried out.

Past year the U.S. stopped contributing to the UN Relief and Works Agency (Unrwa), which has been looking after Palestinian refugees since 1949.

Last month, Erdogan called the Israeli leader a "tyrant" after Netanyahu called him a "dictator" and a "joke".

Trump's predecessors as president publicly discouraged the expansion of settlements, arguing that they made it harder to negotiate a viable Palestinian state, viewed by administrations from both USA parties as Israel's likeliest route to peace.