Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has doubled down on his commitment to annexing the occupied West Bank after almost 300 former security officials signed a petition urging him to reconsider.
In a letter to Netanyahu, “Commanders for Israel’s Security” (CIS) – a self-described nonpartisan body of nearly 300 retired security officials – urged the prime minister to hold a public referendum before annexing the West Bank to Israel, claiming the move would endanger security cooperation with the Palestinian Authority (PA) and leave a power vacuum in the territory.
— Elke Götze (@Pucemargine) May 21, 2019
The letter wrote that CIS is “united in the conviction that a two-state agreement with the Palestinians, as part of a regional security framework, is essential for Israel’s security, as well as for its future as the democratic home of the Jewish people”.
The petition continued:
“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.”
אותם ״מומחים״ תמכו בהסכם הגרעין עם איראן והזהירו: ״ביבי טועה בניווט והורס את הברית עם אמריקה״.
חבלי ארץ ביהודה ושומרון אינם רק ערובה לביטחון ישראל – הם גם נחלת אבותינו. pic.twitter.com/M4rxZB3p1O
— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) May 21, 2019
Netanyahu, however, has slammed CIS’ letter, writing on Twitter that “land in [the West Bank] is not only a guarantee of Israel’s security – it is also the heritage of our forefathers.”
In what was seen as an attempt to appeal to right-wing voters ahead of Israel’s general election, Netanyahu last month promised to annex the occupied West Bank if he were re-elected prime minister.
(Middle East Monitor, PC, Social Media)