Anger at Netanyahu's West Bank annexation pledge

Arab and Muslim countries Wednesday led a wave of outcry after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to annex a key part of the occupied West Bank if re-elected.
        Netanyahu's controversial pledge involves extending Israel's sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea which account for one-third of the West Bank if he wins next week's

elections. It would not include however annexing any Palestinian cities such as Jericho. The pre-election promise late Tuesday drew immediate condemnation from Arab powerhouses with many warning of disastrous consequences for the stagnant Israeli-Palestinian peace process. The announcement constitutes a dangerous development and a new Israeli aggression," Arab foreign ministers said after an Arab League meeting in Cairo. They also warned in a statement of "the ramifications of these dangerous, illegal and irresponsible" moves saying it would "undermine the chances of progress in the peace process". Jordanian and Palestinian officials said any such measure risks "killing off" and "destroying" the entire peace process, which has failed to make any progress for years. Damascus "strongly condemned" Netanyahu's vow, with a Syrian foreign ministry source telling the state news agency SANA that it was an "expansionist" plan which would be a "flagrant violation" of international treaties. Israel occupied the West Bank in the 1967 Six-Day War in a move never recognised by the international community. It also seized and later annexed part of the Golan Heights from Syria, and the two countries remain technically at war.

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