Ziryan Aziz looks into the internationally controversial initiative to annex parts of the occupied West Bank
Photo by Jakub Rubner
On the 10th September 2019, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu outlined his plans to annex the Jordan Valley in the occupied Palestinian West-Bank.
Come June 2020, he vowed to take a different course and instead proposed annexing the Israeli settlements starting in July. So far, official annexation is yet to happen, but what will this mean for the peace process, will it happen, and what does it mean for the Palestinians who live there?
What is the West Bank?
A hilly area of land-locked territory, the West-Bank is surrounded by Israel and borders the Kingdom of Jordan. Over the millennia, it has been part of various empires and kingdoms, and is currently occupied by Israel, who seized it from Jordanian and Palestinian forces in 1967 following a war between Israel and its neighbours.
Both Israel and the Palestinians claim ownership over the territory, and the city of Jerusalem, which Israel regards its eternal capital. Many Israeli Jews – especially Israeli settlers - see the territory as part of the Jewish people’s ancestral homeland whilst Palestinians, want to establish an independent Palestinian state in the West-Bank and the Gaza strip, with East-Jerusalem as its capital.
In Oslo in 1993, as part of the peace process, the Palestinian leadership and Israeli government signed an accord dividing the Palestinian territory into zones of various levels of control, but this did not eliminate clashes over the area.