Hamas says West Bank annexation would be ‘declaration of war’: AFP

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Gaza rulers Hamas warned Thursday that Israel's planned annexation of parts of the occupied West Bank would amount to a "declaration of war" against Palestinians.

“The resistance considers the decision to annex the West Bank and the Jordan Valley to be a declaration of war on our people,” said Abu Ubaida, spokesman for Hamas's armed wing.

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The warning came just days before Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he would start implementing annexation, a move opposed by the United Nations as well as regional powers.

Plans to annex Israeli settlements in the West Bank and the Jordan Valley form part of a broader US peace plan published in January.

The proposals foresee the ultimate creation of a Palestinian state on the remaining West Bank territory and including the Gaza Strip.

The Palestinian enclave has been under a crippling Israel blockade since 2007, following Islamist movement Hamas taking control of the strip.

Hamas and Israel have fought three wars in recent years, with the latest conflict in 2014 killing 2,251 Palestinians and 74 people on the Israeli side.

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