Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel would refuse to withdraw its forces from major areas of the future Palestinian state.
Describing the Jordan Valley as “Israel’s line of defense,” Netanyahu said Tuesday that the military would remain in the Valley — home to some 47,000 Palestinians, the Associated Press reported.
In 1967, Tel Aviv occupied and later annexed Palestinian lands in the West Bank, which hosts the greater part of the valley, as well as East al-Quds (Jerusalem), the promised capital of the future state.
The international community, however, has refused to recognize either move.
“There is no alternative. It will remain that way in any future situation and any future deal. The military must remain here along the Jordan border,” Netanyahu said.
Palestinian Authority’s caretaker Prime Minister Salam Feyadh responded to the comments by describing both the valley and East al-Quds as "undivided parts of the Palestinian land.”
The Israeli premier’s comments came while many countries consider the territories as parts of a Palestinian state, based on the 1967 borders.