President Donald Trump accused Democrats of abandoning Israel and claimed that asylum seekers look like UFC fighters during his speech Saturday before the Republican Jewish Coalition in Las Vegas.
"I don't know whether it will be before the elections", he said of the Khan al-Ahmar expulsion, which set off intense worldwide criticism after the village was marked for demolition to make way for an expanded Jewish settlement. At the meeting, Trump, in what was widely seen as a bid to boost Netanyahu, again broke with long-term policy to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, also won in 1967.
Settlements built on land occupied by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War are deemed illegal by the global community and their ongoing construction is seen as a major barrier to peace in the Middle East.
Former Republican National Committee chairman and casino mogul Steve Wynn met with President Donald Trump at the Las Vegas airport following the president's speech to the Republican Jewish Coalition on Saturday.
Saeb Erekat, Secretary General of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), said Netanyahu's statement was "not surprising".
"Israel will continue to brazenly violate worldwide law for as long as the global community will continue to reward Israel with impunity, particularly with the Trump administration's support", he said on Twitter.More news: Boeing cuts 737 Max production amid software overhaul
Sources close to Netanyahu which are not involved in his election campaign said that in the past Netanyahu opposed the annexation or the application of Israeli law in Judea and Samaria but in recent weeks he has changed his position and is more open to the idea of promoting such a move, at least regarding the settlements.
Applying sovereignty to Israeli settlements on West Bank land that the Palestinians demand for a future state, presumably along with the roads and infrastructure tethering those places to the rest of Israel, would leave the Palestinians at best with an archipelago of disconnected territory.
The Republican says America should tell Israel's enemies that if they seek "to destroy the one and only Jewish state, you have to come through us to get them". "Let's go, so we can win everything".
Netanyahu has cast Gantz, a former military chief, as a weak leftist who would endanger Israel's security by giving territorial concessions to the Palestinians. But if it became clear it's not in the cards right now, then he can just say, 'Sorry, I can't swing it.
The Trump administration was recently condemned by the Arab League and the United Nations for recognising the Golan Heights as part of Israel. The settlements have also been the most contentious sticking point in the peace negotiations between Israeli and Palestinian leaders, and the talks have remained stalled since 2014.
If re-elected on April 9, Netanyahu could become Israel's longest serving prime minister and the first sitting prime minister to be indicted on corruption charges.