Aseel AlBajeh writes in The Electronic Intifada:
The year 2020 is set to mark yet another reverse for Palestinian hopes of self-determination and freedom from oppression.
From a US “Vision for Peace” in January offering Israel large parts of the occupied West Bank to an Israeli unity government in May promising to proceed with the illegal annexation of exactly such territory, a new catastrophe is at the door.
But why has Israel waited for more than half a century to pursue formal annexation?
After all, the facts on the ground already constitute a de facto annexation of the West Bank, which has been undertaken at no great cost to Israel’s carefully constructed image as the “only democracy in the Middle East,” along with the formal annexations of East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights (in Syria) all captured during the 1967 war.
The answer lies in systematic Israeli settler-colonial designs that date back to 1948 and which seek the replacement of the indigenous population by an imported one. The delay in annexation should be understood as a reflection of the West Bank’s demography, which, with its large Palestinian population, had to be properly prepared before any more formal move could be made.
That preparation is now complete in significant parts of the West Bank.