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Israeli PM vows to begin annexing West Bank settlements

JERUSALEM — Israel’s prime minister is vowing to begin annexing West Bank settlements if he wins national elections next week.

Tuesday’s announcement by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared to be aimed at shoring up support of hard-line nationalist voters.

Netanyahu is in a tight race and has turned to a series of dramatic announcements in recent days as part of a frantic effort to mobilize his supporters.

Netanyahu says Israel must lay out its vision as President Donald Trump prepares to unveil his Mideast peace plan.

Annexing settlements would likely spell the end of any lingering hopes of establishing a Palestinian state alongside Israel.

Netanyahu made no mention of what he would do with the territory’s more than 2 million Palestinian residents.

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