Qatar has condemned in the strongest terms the announcement of the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about his plan to impose Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea in the West Bank if he is re-elected on September 17.
In a statement Tuesday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stressed that this declaration was an extension of the occupation's policy of violating international laws and exercising of all despicable methods of displacement of the brotherly Palestinian people and depriving their rights without morality or conscience.
The statement reiterated Qatar's firm rejection of infringement on the rights of the brotherly Palestinian people to achieve electoral gains, stressing that the occupation's continued contempt of international laws and the imposition of the logic of force and de facto, will completely eliminate the chances of peace.
The statement reiterated Qatar's firm and permanent stance in support of the Palestinian cause and the steadfastness of the brotherly Palestinian people, based on the resolutions of international legitimacy and a two-state solution to ensure the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.
Reuters adds from Jerusalem: Netanyahu announced his intention to annex the Jordan Valley, a large swathe of the occupied West Bank, if he wins a closely contested election just a week away.
Palestinian chief peace negotiator Saeb Erekat called the planned move a war crime under international law governing occupied territory. Israel captured the West Bank in a 1967 war and Palestinians seek to make the area part of a future state.
Israeli political commentators saw Netanyahu's declaration, in a speech broadcast live on Israel's main TV channels, as a bid to siphon support away from far-right rivals who have long advocated annexation of Jewish settlements in the West Bank.
"Today, I announce my intention, after the establishment of a new government, to apply Israeli sovereignty to the Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea," Netanyahu said in a speech broadcast live on Israeli TV channels, calling the area "Israel's eastern border".
That step, he said, could be taken "immediately after the election if I receive a clear mandate to do so from you, the citizens of Israel".
Arab League foreign ministers also condemned Netanyahu's plan, saying it would undermine any chance of progress towards Israeli-Palestinian peace.
Around 65,000 Palestinians and 11,000 Israeli settlers live in the Jordan Valley and northern Dead Sea area, according to the Israeli human rights group B'Tselem.