JERUSALEM – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged Tuesday to annex the heart of the West Bank if he wins reelection next week, a move that could inflame the Middle East and extinguish any remaining Palestinian hope of establishing a separate state.
Arab leaders angrily condemned Netanyahu's remarks, and a U.N. spokesman warned the step would be “devastating” to the prospects for a two-state solution.
Netanyahu said he would extend Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley – an area seen as the breadbasket of any Palestinian state – shortly after forming a new government and would move later to annex other Jewish settlements. Such action would swallow up most of the West Bank territory sought by the Palestinians.
9/11 ceremonies today at attack sites
Americans are commemorating 9/11 today with mournful ceremonies, volunteering, appeals to “never forget” and rising attention to the terror attacks' extended toll on responders.
A crowd of victims' relatives is expected at ground zero in New York today, while President Donald Trump is scheduled to join an observance at the Pentagon in Washington. Vice President Mike Pence is to speak at the third attack site, near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
The anniversary ceremonies will center on remembering the nearly 3,000 people killed when hijacked planes rammed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field near Shanksville on Sept. 11, 2001.
31 die in stampede in Iraq holy city
A walkway collapsed and set off a stampede in the Iraq holy city of Karbala on Tuesday as thousands of Shiite Muslims marked one of the most solemn holy days of the year. At least 31 people were killed and about 100 were injured, officials said.
Hundreds of thousands of people converge yearly in Karbala for Ashoura commemoration.
6th death linked to vaping disease
Kansas health officials confirmed the first death in the state Tuesday associated with an outbreak of serious lung disease related to vaping or using e-cigarettes. It is at least the sixth such death reported nationwide.
The Kansas resident was older than 50 and had a history of underlying health issues, state health officials said. The person was hospitalized “with symptoms that progressed rapidly.”