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While Netanyahu has a close relationship with the United States president, Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas cut off relations with Washington after Trump declared the disputed city of Jerusalem Israel's capital in December 2017.

More than 600,000 Israelis live on war-won land, two-thirds of them in the West Bank.

Israel's prime minister has aligned closely with Donald Trump in his battle for political survival ahead of Tuesday's elections a troubling tactic for the roughly 75% of American Jewish voters who lean Democratic.

More than 400,000 Israelis live in West Bank settlements as part of Israel's military occupation of the territory, where more than 2.5 million Palestinians live. As a result, the Palestinians, who seek Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem as their capital, stopped contact with the U.S. "We will move on to the next stage".

Palestinian negotiators have boycotted contact with the Trump administration since it, in another break with longtime policy, moved the USA embassy to Jerusalem and recognized the city as the country's capital, enraging Palestinians, who also consider the city their capital.

On Saturday, Netanyahu boasted that Trump's recognition of Israel's claim to sovereignty over the Golan Heights region - itself an unprecedented break with decades of USA policy - was proof that the US would back him and the West Bank annexation.

Settlements are one of the most heated issues in efforts to restart Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, frozen since 2014.

The Palestinians and many countries consider settlements to be illegal under the Geneva conventions, which ban settling on territory occupied in war. Israel disputes this, citing security needs and biblical, historical and political connections to the land.

Some Israeli commentators considered the prime minister's pledge on Saturday to be an attempt to steal votes from ultranationalist rivals who have long advocated annexation.

AIPAC has generally provided unflinching backing for Netanyahu's policies during his 13 years in power, even as some U.S. Jewish organizations have expressed reservations over Israel's lurch to the right.

Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing Likud party is in a tight race with the new centre-right Blue and White alliance in the current election campaign.

But this and other polls also projected a majority of the Knesset's 120 seats will go to the parties in Netanyahu's right-wing bloc, giving Netanyahu a slim but workable majority.

His comments came one day after President Trump played up his pro-Israel agenda in a speech before an influential conservative Jewish group. In the eyes of most of the world, it would also be a violation of worldwide law that bars the annexation of land seized in war.

In the settlement of Karnei Shomron, spice shop owner Yehezkel Shaul said he believed Netanyahu's annexation pledge, calling him "the most reliable and honest person". The White House has long promised a proposal for a "deal of the century" to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


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