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January 28, 2020 2:56 pm

Amid ‘Deal of the Century’ Tensions, IDF Beefs Up Forces in Jordan Valley

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

An Israeli soldier stands guard near a West Bank checkpoint, June 20, 2017. Photo: Reuters / Ammar Awad.

As tensions rose ahead of the publication of US President Donald Trump’s Israeli-Palestinian peace plan on Tuesday, the IDF beefed up its forces in the West Bank’s Jordan Valley region.

“In accordance with a continuing assessment of the situation by IDF, it was decided to reinforce the Valley with infantry forces,” an IDF spokesman said early Tuesday, according to the Israeli news site Walla.

The disputed territory constitutes Israel’s eastern security border and has been the focus of discussions on possible annexation of parts of the West Bank. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged to annex the Jordan Valley before last September’s Knesset elections, and his chief rival Benny Gantz has also endorsed the idea.

The Palestinian Authority authorized a “day of rage” to protest the Trump’s plan, and PA President Mahmoud Abbas called on the Arab League to hold emergency talks on it.

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A conference has already been held on the issue between Palestinian factions, including members of the terrorist group Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip.

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terrorist group declared, “Anyone who agrees to the deal of the century is a traitor.”

Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem said, “Palestine has drawn its borders in the blood of martyrs and they will not be drawn by Trump’s pen.”

“Collective and unified opposition can thwart all plans to eliminate the Palestinian issue, first of all the deal of the century,” he continued. “The occupation will not gain security through the deal of the century or through other promises as long as it occupies our land and holy places.”

“Our people’s resistance will expel the occupation from all Palestinian land and the illusions of the deal of the century will evaporate in the face of continued resistance and our people’s adherence to its rights,” he said.

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