Israeli prime minister has not previously presented detailed vision for West Bank, seen by Palestinians as heartland of future state

Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, pledged on Saturday to annex Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank if re-elected, a dramatic policy shift apparently aimed at rallying his nationalist base in the final stretch of the tight race.

Netanyahu has promoted Jewish settlement expansion in his four terms as prime minister, but until now refrained from presenting a detailed vision for the West Bank, seen by the Palestinians as the heartland of a future state.

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