Gantz commits to annex Jordan Valley if elected

Gantz said the move would be undertaken in “coordination with the international community.”

By World Israel News Staff

During a tour of the Jordan Valley and Dead Sea area on Tuesday, Blue and White party leader Benny Gantz vowed to annex the Jordan Valley if he wins the premiership in the upcoming elections.

“The Jordan Valley is Israel’s eastern defensive barrier in any future conflict. Israeli governments that spoke of the possibility of returning the area [to Jordanian control] were making a grave strategic and security mistake, and we see this strip of land as an inseparable part of the State of Israel,” Gantz said.

However, Gantz did not say outright that he would support Israel taking the step unilaterally, suggesting instead that it would be done in “coordination with the international community.”

Until now, Blue and White hasn’t been as outspoken as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with regard to the annexation of the Jordan Valley, but the party has gone on the record supporting the move.

The Jordan Valley is considered a less controversial issue within a broad range of the Israeli political spectrum, even among many who support the establishment of a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria, because it represents an eastern security border.

Gantz also commented about the recent reports that U.S. President Donald Trump may release his Mideast peace plan before Israel’s third election.

“I hope that President Trump will hurry and release his plan. Several weeks have passed,” Gantz said. “Many dramatic things are happening in the Middle East, and I’m looking forward to the plan’s release.”

Earlier in the month, Gantz said that a preemptive release of the plan would be a “harsh interference in the electoral process in Israel.”