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Israel PM vows to annex West Bank settlements

September 1, 2019
FILE - In this July 14, 2019, file photo, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is reaffirming his pledge to impose Israeli sovereignty on West Bank settlements. Speaking Sunday, Sept. 1, at a ceremony opening the new school year in the settlement of Elkana, Netanyahu says there "will be no more displacements" and all the communities will be "part of the state of Israel." (Ronen Zvulun/Pool Photo via AP, File)
FILE - In this July 14, 2019, file photo, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is reaffirming his pledge to impose Israeli sovereignty on West Bank settlements. Speaking Sunday, Sept. 1, at a ceremony opening the new school year in the settlement of Elkana, Netanyahu says there "will be no more displacements" and all the communities will be "part of the state of Israel." (Ronen Zvulun/Pool Photo via AP, File)

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is reaffirming his pledge to impose Israeli sovereignty on West Bank settlements.

Speaking Sunday at a ceremony opening the new school year in the settlement of Elkana, Netanyahu says there “will be no more displacements” and all the communities will be “part of the state of Israel.”

Such a move would be a sharp departure from long-standing Israeli government policy. Netanyahu made a similar pledge to begin annexing part of the Israeli-occupied West Bank on the eve of April elections this year but did not act on it.

With just over two weeks to go to repeat elections, Netanyahu looks to be seeking to shore up his right-wing base again.

More than 600,000 Israelis live on war-won land, two-thirds of them in the West Bank.

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