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Uk.reuters.com: Russia raps Netanyahu’s Jordan Valley plan before Putin meeting
Russia condemned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plan to annex the Jordan Valley ahead of a meeting between the Israeli leader and President Vladimir Putin later on Thursday, warning it could sharply increase regional tensions. The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement late on Wednesday that it had noted what it said was the Arab world’s “strongly negative reaction” to Netanyahu’s announcement. “We share concerns about such plans from the Israeli leadership, the implementation of which could sharply escalate tensions in the region, undermine hope for establishing a long-awaited peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors,” it said.
With five days until the vote, the Israeli elections compose a very even picture. Benjamin Netanyahu needs to show his voters he is a statesman by not expressing the depth of his extreme politics regarding annexations in the West Bank, specifically the Jordan Valley. “Bibi” is aware that a strong relationship with Putin could rally Russian-Jews behind him. However, Putin is unafraid to push back on Israel as has already been exhibited by his support for Assad and strong relationship with Iran. Netanyahu would be wise not to sour the relationship with the Kremlin any further, as his impervious relationship with Donald Trump is under scrutiny after surveillance equipment attributed to the Israeli government was found in the White House on Thursday.