Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday pledged that he would not cede military control of the West Bank’s Jordan Valley in any future peace agreement with the Palestinians.
Speaking at a ceremony marking 50 years since the outbreak of the 1967 Six-Day War, Netanyahu’s comments seemed likely to cast a pall over US President Donald Trump’s attempts to breathe life into long-stalled peace efforts.
“We seek peace with our neighbors, a real peace, a peace that will last for generations,” Netahyahu said at the event, held at the Israeli army’s Armored Corps Museum at Latrun, west of Jerusalem.
“That is why in any agreement — and without an agreement — we shall maintain security control over all the territory west of the Jordan Valley and because of that we insist that the Palestinians finally recognize Israel as the national home of the Jewish people.”
“That is the foundation for peace and refusal is what prevents achieving it,” he added.
In the 1967 war, Israel took control of the West Bank from Jordan and the Gaza Strip from Egypt and subsequently annexed East Jerusalem, in a move never recognized by the international community.
Trump visited Israel and the Palestinian territories last month, calling on Israelis and Palestinians to make compromises for peace, but offering no specifics on how to resolve the conflict.
He did not specifically mention the two-state solution, long the focus of international efforts and US Middle East diplomacy.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, however, reiterated his call for a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.