A number of Republican members of the US Congress have submitted a bill saying that Israel should annex the occupied West Bank if Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas carries on with his bid for UN recognition of an independent Palestinian state. According to CNN, 30 members of congress, led by Republican Joe Walsh (Illinois), believe that Israel would be "within its rights" to annex "Judea and Samaria". Walsh's stand on this issue, reported by the Huffington Post, was made a couple of days after being named among "Congress's thirteen 'most corrupt' representatives by the group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW)".
Palestinian news agency WAFA has reported the Republican governor of Texas Rick Perry's announcement that he will stand for the party's presidential primaries. Perry will lead a rally in New York against the recognition of a Palestinian state.
In Washington, meanwhile, a number of Republican US Senators have urged Barack Obama "to issue a strongly-worded defence of Israel," said Radio Israel reported. In their letter to the President, the 14 senators highlighted Israel's crisis with Turkey and the Palestinian decision to bid for statehood at the United Nations.