Blue and White leader MK Benny Gantz rejected calls to support a bill to apply sovereignty in the Jordan Valley before the upcoming elections in March.
"Listen to my words and listen carefully to them. They are not in support of unilateral annexation," Gantz wrote in the Blue and White party's Whatsapp group Tuesday evening.
Earlier Tuesday afternoon, Gantz vowed to promote the application of Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley after the March 2nd election.
During a tour of the Jordan Valley and Dead Sea area Tuesday, Gantz responded to calls from the Israeli Right for the application of Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley, a key strategic area on Israel’s eastern border – an area that the Palestinian Authority has claimed for a future Palestinian state.
Gantz said he would work to promote the application of Israeli sovereignty over the area in the next Knesset, but suggested he would not do so unilaterally, instead calling for “coordination” with the international community.
“We are repeating this and saying it definitely: the Jordan Valley is the shield on Israel’s eastern front,” adding that the area would remain under Israel control “in any possible scenario.”
Prime Minister Netanyahu responded to Gantz by calling on him to support the move even before the election.
"Why wait for after the elections, if you can apply sovereignty over the Jordan Valley right now, and receive broad support in the Knesset?" Netanyahu asked.
"Benny Gantz, I am waiting for your response by this evening, unless [Joint Arab List Chairman MK] Ahmad Tibi vetoes the move."
The Likud party has vowed to raise the bill for the application of sovereignty in the Jordan Valley next week.