Saudi King condemns Netanyahu pledge in call with Abbas



King Salman reiterated Saudi Arabia’s condemnation of the Israeli prime minister’s pre-election pledge to annex part of the West Bank, in a phone call Thursday with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas.
Battling to win re-election in September 17 polls, Netanyahu issued a deeply controversial pledge on Tuesday to annex the strategic Jordan Valley, which accounts for around a third of the occupied West Bank..
“The king reiterated… Saudi Arabia’s condemnation and categorical rejection of the Israeli prime minister’s declaration on his intention to annex lands from the West Bank,” the official Saudi Press Agency reported.
The king also said Netanyahu’s pledge marked a “very dangerous escalation against the Palestinian people” and was a “flagrant violation” of UN and international laws, SPA added.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said the Israeli leader’s vow to annex the Jordan Valley would be a “serious violation of international law”.
The particularly strong rebuke from the world body follows a chorus of criticism against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for his promise to annex the area if he wins re-election next week.—AFP