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The Palestinian Authority foreign minister says Israel's leader will face a "real problem" if he follows through with his election campaign promise to annex Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

It remains unclear at this point whether Netanyahu was referring to all of the West Bank, or only parts of it.

Netanyahu said he informed Trump not "even one person" would be evicted from a settlement, telling Channel 13 he doubted such a request would be made. "We must control our destiny", Netanyahu said.

While Netanyahu has a close relationship with the U.S. president, Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas cut off relations with Washington after Trump declared the disputed city of Jerusalem Israel's capital in December 2017.

Netanyahu is competing for votes with small far-right parties who advocate annexation.

But he has bet on his experience as well, portraying himself as Israel's essential statesman, while denouncing Gantz's alliance as leftist and "weak" despite its security credentials and the fact that many of its policy ideas are similar to his.

Netanyahu was pressed in a live television interview Saturday night over why he had not already annexed settlement blocs like Maale Adumim and Gush Etzion, two large Jewish communities built on occupied territory on the outskirts of Jerusalem.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said the West Bank, which Israel seized in the 1967 Middle East war, was Palestinian territory and Israel's occupation violated global law.

Palestinians want East Jerusalem to be the capital of a future state they are seeking. The West Bank is under Israeli military jurisdiction, although settlers are subject to civilian law, as Israeli citizens.

With Israeli-Palestinian peace talks frozen since 2014, personalities and personal attacks have dominated an election campaign that has largely skated over war-and-peace issues that once dominated the Israeli political debate.

Pentagon nixes Turkish offer to address S-400 fears
Pompeo on Thursday said he was confident the USA will be able to "find a path forward" with Turkey over its S-400 plans. The foreign ministers held a series of sessions on the first day of the meeting at the headquarters of the U.S.

The Palestinians and many countries consider settlements to be illegal under the Geneva conventions that bar settling on land captured in war.

In March, Trump broke with decades of worldwide consensus by recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, territory Israel captured from Syria.

Trump also called the asylum program "a scam", alleging that lawyers coach tough, violent men through the process.

The Israeli prime minister was asked if he was familiar with the details of the USA plan, replying he knew "what should be in it".

His comments come just days before the closely-fought April 9 poll and could be seen as an appeal to right-wing voters, who do not believe in the feasibility of a peace agreement with the Palestinians.

Trump also took credit for eliminating hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to the Palestinians and for pulling the USA out of several U.N. organizations, the U.N. Human Rights Council and UNESCO, citing anti-Israel bias in their agendas.

On Friday, the last day polling is allowed, Mr Gantz's centrist Blue and White party was projected to take 30 seats, more than the 26 forecast for Netanyahu's right-wing Likud, according to a poll in Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper.

It would mark a dramatic shift for Netanyahu, ahead of Tuesday's balloting.

Senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat said Netanyahu's statement on annexation was "not surprising".


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