Ungoodest Leader: June 2020

Benjamin Netanyahu

Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel

The decision by Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to annex parts of the West Bank on the 1st of July has been met with significant resistance. Israel intends to build a large number of housing units in the West Bank, areas which are currently part of the Palestinian territory. The intended action threatens to destabilise the region, not least because Jordan has indicated that it will pull out of its peace treaty if Israel proceeds.

Both the West Bank and Gaza Strip are disputed areas. The West Bank is home to approximately 430,000 Israeli settlers. Netanyahu claims that the plan for the new housing units does not equal annexation. However, it would entail Israel applying sovereignty to all Israeli settlements in the West Bank as well as the Jordan Valley, which forms the West Banks eastern border with Jordan. This would leave approximately 30% of the territory in Israeli hands, fragmenting the area further and making the formation of a future state of Palestine more problematic.

In an already unstable area the actions of Netanyahu and his government do not appear to reflect a desire to find a peaceful solution to the problems that have troubled Israel, Palestine and its immediate region for so long. The annexation deprives Palestinians from their land rights and threatens fragile peace agreements in the region. Furthermore, it gives ground for institutionalisation of annexation and legitimising such actions. The recent plans of annexation are a clear failure of Netanyahu and his government to fully reflect either the domestic or the international dimension of the Dual Mandate.