Netanyahu Says ‘Our Full Right’ to Annex Jordan Valley, Despite ICC Prosecutor Report

LISBON — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Haaretz Thursday that it's Israel's full right to annex the Jordan Valley if it chooses to do so.

Earlier Thursday, International Criminal Court Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda expressed concern over Israeli proposals to annex this West Bank region.

Asked on the matter by reports in Lisbon, the premier said “It’s our full right to do so if we decide,” despite the ICC prosecutor’s report.

Asked about a timeline for the proposed annexation, Netanyahu said “there are some questions about what can be done in a transition government. Exactly because of that we should form a government now and do it.”

– ICC report

Click here to read the full report

When asked whether he would agree to renounce serving first as prime minister in a rotation agreement if Kahol Lavan agrees to annex the Jordan Valley and to a defense treaty with the United States, Netanyahu said "those things will be achieved when I'm prime minister. I have thousands of hours on American prime-time TV and that has a certain influence on the United States, especially now. I won't be able [to influence] if I'm not prime minister."    

Netanyahu refused to tell the press whether he intends to seek immunity from the Knesset in his three pending corruption cases and cancel Likud's primary election, arguing he wouldn't address personal matters in the briefing.

"I intend to invest every effort, despite Kahol Lavan's objection, to reach an agreement and prevent this truly unnecessary election. Benny Gantz can [prevent it] if he manages to overcome Yair Lapid and if [Avigdor] Lieberman overcomes himself," Netanyahu said, referring to Kahol Lavan co-leader and Yisrael Beiteinu chairman, who said he has no intention to have his party join a narrow, right-wing government headed by Netanyahu.