Saudi Arabia brands Benjamin Netanyahu’s West Bank vow ‘a dangerous escalation’

By Associated Press Reporter

Saudi Arabia has denounced Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s vow to annex parts of the West Bank as a “very dangerous escalation”.

Wednesday’s strongly-worded statement is a significant rebuke from a regional power that has recently grown closer to Israel over their shared concerns about Iran.

Mr Netanyahu said on Tuesday he would extend Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley if he is re-elected next week and would move to annex Jewish settlements.

Israeli border police officers stand in the village of Azzun near the West Bank city of Qalqilya (Majdi Mohammed/AP)

It was widely viewed in Israel as a campaign stunt and initially received a relatively muted response in the Arab world, where championing the Palestinians has waned.

But Saudi Arabia’s royal court, which runs the affairs of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, says other regional concerns “will not affect the status of the Palestinian cause”.