Skip to main content

Are Netanyahu, Bennett preparing Jordan Valley annexation?

Blue and White leader Benny Gantz must beware of right-wing ministers such as Defense Minister Naftali Bennett trying to establish facts on the ground before the unity government is established.

On March 30, the Israel Defense Forces chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi, issued a very unusual statement that stressed the absolute need to keep the chain of command in the defense system. This statement almost went unnoticed in these coronavirus days. Still, for those who did notice, it must have raised eyebrows, as they sensed that Kochavi was very angry with his temporary boss, Defense Minister Naftali Bennett, and with good reason. Bennett had assembled an impressive task force to prepare the annexation of many areas in the West Bank without involving the chief of staff in these significant efforts.

Bennett's plan was presented to the public a few years ago. Its essence stems from the perception of Area C (which includes 60% of the West Bank, and from which Israel intended to withdraw gradually, according to the 1993 Oslo Accord and the 1995 Interim Agreement) as an Israeli hinterland, which should be annexed to Israel in its totality. Over the years, Bennett tried several times, unsuccessfully, to push Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's governments to adopt this plan.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.