Palestine, Turkey denounce Netanyahu's campaign pledge to change West Bank status


Trump referred to Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, as "your prime minister" while speaking at the Republican Jewish Coalition in Las Vegas, Nevada.

"I will impose sovereignty, but I will not distinguish between settlement blocs and isolated settlements", he continued, The Associated Press reports.

Netanyahu has actively supported the growth of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, which Israel has occupied since the Six-Day War in 1967.

Such a move has been ardently sought by the settler movement but resisted until now by Netanyahu, and by more moderate Israelis, as a potentially fatal blow to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. "We do. All of us", Trump said. "Israel will continue to brazenly violate global law for as long as the worldwide community will continue to reward Israel with impunity, particularly with the Trump administration's support and endorsement of Israel's violation of the national and human rights of the people of Palestine".

Netanyahu said he informed Trump not "even one person" would be evicted from a settlement, telling Channel 13 he doubted such a request would be made.

"It won't happen", Netanyahu asserted adding that he was "maintaining a united Jerusalem and I am maintaining our control on the entire area west of the Jordan River to prevent another Gaza".

After decades of settlement-building, more than 400,000 Israelis now live in the West Bank, protected by an Israeli military presence that divides some Palestinian communities and cuts off towns and villages with checkpoints.

Washington is expected to unveil proposals for Israeli-Palestinian peace sometime after Tuesday's Israeli election in which Netanyahu is seeking a fifth term.

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Many Arab leaders fear the long-awaited peace plan, which US President Donald Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner has promised to reveal after Israeli elections.

But Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett, head of the New Right party and author of a plan to annex parts of the West Bank, suggested Netanyahu was simply trawling for votes.

Netanyahu said yesterday his position on settlers had also been relayed to the former USA president.

The US president on Saturday was cautious about the outcome of Israel's upcoming election, calling it a close race between "two good people".

When Trump asked the crowd who they thought would win, they replied with cheers of "Bibi", Netanyahu's nickname.

Former Republican National Committee chairman and casino mogul Steve Wynn met with President Donald Trump at the Las Vegas airport following the president's speech to the Republican Jewish Coalition on Saturday.

"I think we realized in 2016 that we're at a disadvantage and not doing as good a job on some of that stuff as Republicans are, and that clearly we've got to step it up". In his first year in office, Trump had also recognized Jerusalem - the disputed city claimed as capital by both Israeli and Palestinian people - as Israel's capital, breaking with decades of USA foreign policy.

Trump also took credit for eliminating hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to the Palestinians and for pulling the USA out of several U.N. organizations, the U.N. Human Rights Council and UNESCO, citing anti-Israel bias in their agendas.