Israel Reinforces in West Bank, Expecting Backlash Against Annexation

Israeli soldiers fire tear gas at Palestinian protesters

A day after President Trump unveiled his “deal of the century” peace plan, Israel is sending additional infantry into the occupied West Bank, as they expect potentially violent blowback against their planned annexation vote.

On Sunday, Israel’s government intends to vote to annex 30% of the occupied West Bank, covering all the settlements and the Jordan Valley. The Trump Administration is encouraging the annexation, saying this is all land that would belong to Israel under the proposed deal, and that there is no reason to wait.

This is hardly the first time Israel has illegally annexed something, but a large annexation inside of Palestine is almost certain to add fuel to the protests already going in the West Bank, and potentially could lead to rioting.

Protests so far are mostly against Trump’s plan, and not the future annexation. Israel’s military is already violently cracking down on those protests, firing tear gas in Palestinian towns and even live ammunition in some cases.

Palestinian leadership has uniformly rejected the Trump plan, and would be expected to oppose annexation, whether it was part of implementing the Trump plan or just an unrelated land grab. Israel already had substantial troops in the West Bank, and the deployment of more underscores how risky this annexation might be.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.