Palestine

Netanyahu vows to annex parts of West Bank if he wins re-election

Photo: Abir Sultan/AFP/Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Tuesday his intention to promote annexation steps in the occupied West Bank, including the Jordan Valley and areas north of the Dead Sea, if he wins next week's elections.

Why it matters: Netanyahu had already spoken about annexation before Israel's elections last April, but he didn’t commit or promise anything. Netanyahu’s statement is directed at his right-wing base and the settler lobby in order to boost support for his Likud party over other right-wing parties, ensuring that Likud wins most seats in the elections to gain an upper hand in building a coalition.

Tlaib says she won't visit Israel despite permission to visit family

Photo: Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) said Friday that she will not enter Israel due to the "oppressive conditions" placed upon her visit, despite the Israeli government's permission to enter Israel on humanitarian grounds to visit her family in the occupied West Bank, including her 90-year-old grandmother.

The big picture: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reversed course yesterday after pressure from President Trump and barred Tlaib and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) from a planned visit to Israel and the West Bank, saying the trip was meant "to strengthen the boycott and delegitimize Israel." In a letter requesting the visit to her family, Tlaib said she would "respect [her] restrictions" and would not "promote boycotts against Israel."