Looking to continue his bid to court right-wing voters on the eve of the election, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took extra steps to announce that not only will the Palestinians never have their own state, but that he, assuming he is reelected, will immediately start annexing the occupied West Bank into Israel, starting with settlements.
Netanyahu ruled out ever evacuating any “community” built in occupied territory, and insisted that the realization of a Palestinian state would necessarily “endanger our existence.” He took credit for the last eight years of the Palestinians not getting a state, saying no one had ever had to withstand such pressure.
Whether this is just usual pre-election bluster or a statement of policy is unclear. Netanyahu claimed to have already informed Trump of his intentions, saying that he would prefer to do the annexations gradually, with US support, but would do it either way.
With Trump having just endorsed the Israeli annexation of the Golan Heights, it will doubtless be seen internationally that any further Israeli land grabs are at least somewhat Trump’s fault. Trump has in the past suggested he wasn’t particularly concerned if the Middle East peace process included a Palestinian state or not, and Israel may well be taking him up on that.