After his primary victory Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised in a victory speech to secure U.S. recognition of Israeli settlements in the disputed West Bank and Jordan Valley if he is reelected.
“In the years ahead we will deliver more achievements that could have only been dreamed of,” Netanyahu said during his speech, in which he took a shot at “those who distribute fake polls and fake news.”
“We will set our final borders, bring about American recognition for Israeli control over Jordan Valley, the Dead Sea and our sovereignty over every settlement in Judea and Samaria,” the prime minister, a close ally to President Trump, added.
About 500,000 Israelis live in about 130 settlements among 2.6 million Palestinians in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, which Israel captured during the Six-Day War in 1967.
The prime minister also vowed to “obtain a defense pact with U.S. that will ensure Israeli freedom to act” as well as “defeat Iran and achieve a peace pact with Arab countries.”
Netanyahu will remain leader of the Likud party even as he is under indictment by the Israeli attorney general for charges of bribery, fraud, and breach of trust.
Israelis will vote again on March 2 in the third general election in less than a year on whether Netanyahu will remain prime minister. The prime minister and his opposition have failed to form a government after two previous elections.