Israeli Attorney General warns Netanyahu over Jordan Valley
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was warned by the attorney general's office that annexing the Jordan Valley could spur an International Criminal Court investigation of senior army officers.
A SWORN-IN GOVERNMENT CAN LEGALLY ANNEX THE TERRITORY
The warning was issued after International Criminal Court Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda condemned Netanyahu’s declaration that he will work toward annexation of the territory, which is in the West Bank, to Israel.
Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit’s office made it clear that a sworn-in government can legally annex the territory, but must consider the possible consequences on the inquiry being conducted at The Hague on Israel’s activity in the West Bank.
Israel’s two biggest parties agreed on Monday on a March 2 election date, barring a last-minute power-sharing deal, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fighting for political survival under criminal indictment.
The political disarray and a long-running corruption investigation have threatened to curtail Netanyahu’s decade-long hold on power. Last month, Netanyahu, 70, was charged with bribery, breach of trust and fraud.
Denying any wrongdoing, he has accused Israel’s legal authorities of attempting a “coup” aimed at ousting a popular right-wing leader. Critics alleged that Netanyahu was trying to undermine the rule of law and set an election campaign theme portraying himself as the victim of “deep state” conspiracy.