Netanyahu says if re-elected he will extend Israeli sovereignty over West Bank

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"We hope that the positive and attractive statements that we have heard today will be translated in the next term into legislation and we will uphold our right to equality, and will not be left with empty promises like we have heard so far", said Hizki, director of The Aguda - Israel's LGBT Task Force.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said the West Bank, which Israel seized in the 1967 Middle East war, was Palestinian territory and Israel's occupation violated global law.

In February, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met one-on-one with Bin Alawi at an worldwide conference in Warsaw, attended by officials from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.

Regarding just how much, if not all, of the West Bank Netanyahu would annex, he promised to "extend sovereignty" over all Israeli settlements in the territory, regardless of how isolated they were. But Israel has so far stopped short of formally annexing the West Bank, leaving the door open for further negotiations with Palestinians.

"We'll continue to pursue our rights through global forums, including the worldwide criminal court, until we achieve our long overdue justice", he said.

He also told Trump that any USA reconciliation plan for Israel and Palestine must not include the removal of the settlements from the occupied Palestinian lands.

While Netanyahu has a close relationship with the USA president, Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas cut off relations with Washington after Trump declared the disputed city of Jerusalem Israel's capital in December 2017.

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On Saturday, Netanyahu pledged that he would not dismantle a single Jewish settlement and that Israel would retain control of the territory west of the Jordan River, known as the West Bank. The annexation of parts of the West Bank would likely be considered the final blow to the possibility of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts have been at a standstill since 2014, when a drive for a deal by Barack Obama's administration collapsed.

U.S. President Donald Trump (L) and Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu show the proclamation Trump signed on recognizing Israel's sovereignty over Golan Heights in Washington on March 25, 2019.

The Palestinians and many countries consider this to be illegal under the Geneva Conventions that bar settling on land captured in war.

Netanyahu has been plagued by corruption allegations throughout the election campaign after Israel's attorney general publicly announced in February that he intends to indict Netanyahu.

His main election rival, Gantz, has vowed to pursue peace with the Palestinians, but he has also stopped short at embracing their quest for statehood.

The U.S. State Department declined to comment on Netanyahu's statement. The move was viewed in Israel as a political gift by Trump to Netanyahu who is being challenged by former military chief Benny Gantz. He suggested the Palestinians may take Israel to the International Criminal Court.

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