0105 GMT February 19, 2020
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday he would annex the Jordan Valley, a large swathe of the occupied West Bank that Israel captured in 1967 and which Palestinians want as part of a future state, Reuters reported.
Middle Eastern nations and European powers have expressed alarm at the plan, which Netanyahu said he would implement if he wins a closely contested election next week.
Iran said on Wednesday the Israeli prime minister seeks to stay in power through anti-Iran accusations and annexation.
“Netanyahu is after votes to stay in power and continue with expansionist policies and aggression one day through making accusations against the Islamic Republic of Iran and one day by announcing his malicious intention to annex certain parts of Palestine,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Seyyed Abbas Mousavi said, according to Iran’s Foreign Ministry’s official website.
Mousavi said certain Arab countries claiming the leadership of the Arab world and who are busy with other issues like their military aggression against Yemen and their warming up ties with Israel had provided the Tel Aviv regime with an opportunity to disclose its ill-wished intentions.
He added that Iran welcomes any collective effort by Muslim countries to block the decision after calls for an emergency meeting of the Organization of Islamic Corporation (OIC).
In a statement, Turkey’s Foreign Ministry said the OIC would meet in Jeddah to discuss “Netanyahu’s statements on the intention to annex Jordan Valley and the illegal settlements in West Bank by Israel.”
Around 65,000 Palestinians and 11,000 Israeli settlers live in the Jordan Valley and northern Dead Sea area, according to the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem. The main Palestinian city is Jericho, with around 28 villages and smaller Bedouin communities.