Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is allegedly seeking support and approval by the United States to enable the annexation of the Jordan Valley under the pretext that it is “a vital area to Israel’s security,” anonymous political sources have told Asharq Al-Awsat.
The speculations come shortly after Netanyahu’s tour with US Security Advisor John Bolton around the West Bank on Sunday, in which the Israeli premier insisted that any future agreement regarding Palestine must first guarantee an Israeli presence in the Jordan Valley.
Toured the Jordan Valley today with @IsraeliPM and @AmbJohnBolton. Saw up front the extraordinary importance of Israel’s control of this territory to the security of Israel and the entire region. pic.twitter.com/Pk3dlhQPcD
— David M. Friedman (@USAmbIsrael) June 23, 2019
Speaking on Israeli military control of the valley, Netanyahu said:
“In any future peace agreement, our position is that Israel’s presence here must continue – for the security of Israel and for the security of all.”
Netanyahu reiterated the importance of Israel’s interests in the area when he addressed his cabinet yesterday, announcing that the Israeli Army’s presence there “guarantees stability and security for the entire region.”
— Israel Collapse (@israelCollapse) June 25, 2019
Bolton commented on the idea, saying that,
“It’s too bad… that more Americans can’t come to locations like this, see the geography, understand its significance, understand how it affects Israel’s critical security position, and explain why Israel has taken the view that it has.”
Israeli premiers and military strategists have long strived to attain the Jordan Valley due to two primary reasons: the fertile farmland of the valley which the settlers already possess vast control over, and its geopolitical strategic significance. The West Bank is elevated and overlooks Israeli territory stretching to the sea to the west.
Never ceases to astonish: @USAmbIsrael's ability not to see (“up front”!) Palestinians — and the extraordinary measures Israel takes to further their oppression and dispossession. Yesterday in the Jordan Valley. Routinely, everywhere. @btselem background: https://t.co/0n0zv36RZX https://t.co/nIXxt62G5y
— Hagai El-Ad (@HagaiElAd) June 24, 2019
Most of the Jordan Valley is classified as Area C, which means it is already under Israeli control.
The Israeli Army has expelled entire Palestinian families from the valley in recent months and has conducted a number of military exercises there. The official annexation of the valley, however, would give it far greater control and would give it an increased military advantage in the area.
(Middle East Monitor, PC, Social Media)