'Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has dismissed an urgent call from ex-Israeli security and intelligence officials to halt the unilateral annexation of the West Bank, saying the occupied Palestinian territory is the “heritage of our forefathers”.
Over 200 former army, security, police and intelligence officials, who are part of non-partisan movement Commanders for Israel’s Security (CIS) sent a letter to the premier warning that such an action would “endanger” Israel and damage its “economic, regional and international standing”.
In the run-up to last month’s general election, Mr Netanyahu, who secured a record fifth term in office, promised his right-wing supporters he would annex Jewish settlements within the West Bank. He also said he would prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state.
CIS, which supports a two-state solution, said that even imposing sovereignty over parts of the West Bank would lead to the entire territory being annexed, meaning nearly 3 million Palestinians would be absorbed into Israel.
They said this would paralyse the Palestinian Authority, living a security vacuum for armed terror groups. It would also place a massive financial burden on Israel. Annexation is illegal under international law.
“A decision by the Knesset to pass legislation for annexation, however partial, can only be interpreted in the territories, the region and the world as a national decision to slam the door on any future arrangement,” the officials claimed.
“It is not possible to assess whether the Palestinian response to the collapse of hope for an agreement will be violent,” it added.
Mr Netanyahu hit back, saying the West Bank was “not just a guarantee for Israel’s security, it is also the inheritance of our forefathers” signalling he would push through with his elections promise.'
Read more: Netanyahu rejects plea from former security and intelligence officials not to annex West Bank
The Deal Of The Century - Giving Israel What It Wants - David Icke
Israel plans to name settlement in Golan Heights After Trump
'Israel plans to name a new settlement after Donald Trump on land it captured from Syria, as a token of gratitude to the US president for recognising its contested claim to the occupied territory.
Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has said he would press his next government, which he is still in the process of forming, to approve the naming of the new community in Golan Heights.
Israeli and US officials are expected to hold a cornerstone-laying ceremony next month at the site where the village is due to be built, next to the location of the existing village of Kela Alon, according to a spokeswoman for the area’s regional council.
“It will be soon,” said Batya Gottlieb, adding that the final decision rests with the prime minister’s office and will need formal approval from a governmental naming committee.
However, she said local councils backed Netanyahu. “Yes, we proudly agree on having the US president’s name at the new place,” she said.
Israeli forces took control of the volcanic plateau from Syria in the six-day war in 1967 and later annexed it, moves that were condemned by the UN security council and never internationally recognised.
Local rights groups estimate up to 130,000 Syrians fled or were forced from their homes during the war and have not been allowed to return. Many of their farms and villages have since been demolished. Israel has offered the few thousand Syrians, mostly Druze Arabs, who remain the option of citizenship, but most reject it.'
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