In Jordan Valley Israel imposes authority ahead of looming annexation

Israel has intensified its measures in West Bank areas facing the threat of annexation at a time when Palestinians feel the imminence of the annexation project more than ever

Israeli troops stand guard as Palestinians protest against Israel’s annexation plan, 5 June 2020

Ahmad Melham reports in Al-Monitor:

Israel is racing against time ahead of its target for a vote to annex areas in the West Bank in early July.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz instructed Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi on June 1 to prepare for escalation scenarios as Israel advances plans on annexing parts of the West Bank.

Palestinians say they have noticed a rise in Israeli abuses lately, which include land expropriation and leveling, in addition to destruction of houses. These steps appear to be paving the way for the annexation of several target locations, such as the Jordan Valley and the areas surrounding Israeli settlements, all which are located in Area C as per the Oslo Accords and constitute around 60% of the surface area of the West Bank.

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said in a videoconference speech during the June 2 Ad Hoc Liaison Committee meeting, “The annexation plans are no longer a mere declaration. Israel has started implementing them effectively by sending electricity bills directly to municipal councils in the Jordan Valley and removing signs” denoting that certain areas were Palestinian.

According to the monthly report issued in May by the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s Negotiations Affairs Department, Israel killed four Palestinians in the West Bank in May and committed 54 attacks and acts of destruction of citizens’ property through damaging people’s houses and vehicles, plucking out olive trees, destroying sheds, expropriating three pieces of land and destroying nine houses. Settlers committed around 44 attacks, according to the report.

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