Skip to main content

Despite criticism from abroad, Israelis united over annexation

Israeli plans to annex the Jordan Valley and parts of the West Bank have drawn criticism from around the world, but most Israelis favor the goal.
An Israeli flag flies in the Jordan Valley in the Israeli-occupied West Bank February 11, 2020. REUTERS/Ammar Awad - RC2CYE95XEM1

The plan of the national unity government to extend Israeli control to the Jordan Valley has elicited much more criticism from abroad than in Israel. The acerbic ideological debate over the future of the territories acquired in 1967 is over. The Sinai Peninsula was relinquished in 1979-82. The security significance of the Golan Heights always been an issue of consensus among Israelis, with over 70% supporting Israel maintaining control of the area. The civil war in Syria only solidified such popular positions, while US recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights in 2019 put this issue to rest. Gaza is similarly no longer a bone of contention after the 2005 unilateral withdrawal.

Concerning Judea and Samaria, there is a majority in favor of partition and retaining the settlement blocs, Jerusalem (the Temple Mount in particular) and the Jordan Valley. A recent poll commissioned by the Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security confirmed that over 60% of Israelis (and over 70% among the wider Jewish public) favor extending Israeli law to these areas. The current composition of the Knesset favors incorporation of the Jordan Valley into Israel.

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.