Benjamin Netanyahu's proposal would bury the two-state solution

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The Israeli PM’s West Bank annexation idea is likely to have had the nod from Trump

Benjamin Netanyahu’s pledge to expand Israeli sovereignty over the occupied West Bank was short on specifics. It looks, at first glance, like a typical piece of Bibi electoral gamesmanship, designed to attract rightwing and nationalist voters – and boost his hopes of tipping the balance in Tuesday’s closely fought national polls.

But Netanyahu is not simply playing politics. He has previously flirted with annexation of Judea and Samaria, as the Israeli government calls the West Bank, as part of an apparent drive to prevent the creation of a viable Palestinian state. A Haaretz poll last month found 42% of Israelis supported West Bank annexation. Netanyahu also recently suggested that Israel, in extremis, might reoccupy the Gaza Strip.

Related: Netanyahu’s fearmongering is working. Israelis have forgotten how to hope | Uriel Abulof

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