Jordan Valley annexation may earn support of opposition parties, says Likud MK

MK Danny Danon gearing up to present bill for formal annexation of the Jordan Valley region; he expressed hope that the move could be supported by the National Unity and Yisrael Beitenu parties.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

Likud MK Danny Danon is preparing to introduce a bill that would see Israel formally annex the Jordan Valley region, which is currently home to some 11,000 Jewish residents.

Speaking to Israel National News, Danon said he is bringing forth a bill to implement immediate full Israeli sovereignty over the region rather than in the gradual, piecemeal manner that some coalition partners have proposed.

“This is a very important issue that enjoys the overwhelming support of parties and groups and is also part of the coalition agreements,” he said.

“That is why I think that now is the right time. We need to start with a foreign policy move. Everyone knows the Jordan Valley will remain under Israeli control; even the left supports that, and so I hope that we will manage to move forward with this process.”

Danon also expressed optimism that parties in the opposition would support the measure, including the Israel Beiteinu and the National Unity parties.

“I have heard that [Israel Beiteinu head Avigdor] Liberman and others say they will support the bill, despite the fact that they did not do so in the previous government,” Danon said.

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He dismissed fear about backlash from the international community, saying that Israel would “deal with it, the same way we dealt with the struggle over moving the [American] embassy to Jerusalem.”

Danon said that formally annexing the territory would not be a significant departure from the current status quo in Judea and Samaria.

“There is no harm to any possible negotiated settlement [with the Palestinians], because everyone knows this area will stay under Israeli sovereignty.”

The Jordan Valley is currently under mixed administrative control, having been divided into Areas A, B, and C under the 1994 Oslo Accords.

Parts of the territory are under Israeli control, while others are administered by the Palestinian Authority or both Israel and the PA.