ICC Prosecutor ‘Concerned’ About Israeli Proposals to Annex Jordan Valley

International Criminal Court Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda expressed concern on Thursday over Israeli proposals to annex the Jordan Valley.

The prosecutor has followed "with concern proposals advanced during the recent electoral process, to be tabled to the Knesset, for Israel to annex the Jordan Valley in the West Bank," it said in its 2019 report.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Donald Trump spoke earlier this week about the possibility of Israel annexing the Jordan Valley, the premier said on Monday.


ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, August 2019. Reuters

Netanyahu said that the conversation was "very important" for Israel's security and added that the two leaders "talked extensively about historic opportunities we have ahead of us in the coming months." Among them, Netanyahu said, was recognizing the Jordan Valley as Israel's eastern border.

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– ICC report

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Netanyahu has vowed to annex the Jordan Valley ahead of Israel's previous two elections, in September and in April.

A week before the September do-over election, Netanyahu made an eleventh-hour promise to extend Israeli sovereignty to the Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea. Trump's peace plan, the prime minister said, would provide a "historic opportunity" for annexing the West Bank and other areas. The announcement was roundly decried by the international community, the Arab League and Jewish groups.  

Members of Kahol Lavan, headed by Benny Gantz, have also voiced support of annexing the Jordan Valley, but said that it should be coordinated with the international community.