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Palestinians fear Israel moving to annex occupied West Bank

The Israeli Likud Party says it wants to extend the powers of some Israeli ministries in West Bank settlements, which could set the stage for Israel to annex some parts of the Palestinian territories.
A general view shows the Jewish settlement of Kiryat Arba in Hebron, in the occupied West Bank September 11, 2018. Picture taken September 11, 2018. REUTERS/Mussa Qawasma - RC14BC22BB50
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GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — As Likud leader and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu struggled this week to form a new government, offering and considering controversial deals to bring together an alliance and avoid new elections, one of the less visible issues on the table is of great importance to the Palestinians.

The Likud Party, winner of the April 9 Israeli parliamentary elections, wants to expand the powers of Israeli government ministries in the West Bank at the expense of the civil administration. Some see this as a step toward Netanyahu fulfilling his promise to annex West Bank settlements if he won the election and retained his post.

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