Israel minister in Jordan Valley: This is land of ‘our forefathers’

Israeli Interior Minister Aryeh Deri (File photo)

Middle East Monitor  /  January 28, 2020

Israeli Interior Minister Aryeh Deri [who spent years in prison after being convicted for fraud] toured the Jordan Valley region of the occupied West Bank yesterday, a day before the Trump administration is expected to unveil its peace plan.

According to the report by right-wing news outlet Arutz Sheva, Deri – accompanied by Knesset colleagues from the Shas party that the minister chairs – was hosted during his visit by Yigal Dilmoni, the director-general of the settlers’ so-called Yesha Council.

“During the tour,” the report added, “Deri said that the Interior Ministry had begun to prepare for the application of Israeli sovereignty [i.e. annexation] to the Jordan Valley as part of the soon-to-be-released Trump administration Middle East peace plan.”

“This is ours, this is the land of our forefathers,” Deri declared. “It is a great privilege to continue their work.”

“With us today are regional council leaders, and as the Interior Minister, I’d like to say today that we’ve started to prepare – there is work to be done here because there is going to be annexation.”

Deri added: “We are preparing all the administrative work – this won’t be simple. There are a lot of legal questions and registration issues.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Blue and White (Kahol Lavan) chair Benny Gantz are both in Washington DC to meet with US President Donald Trump, as the United States prepares to lay out its proposal sometimes referred to as the “Deal of the Century”.