June 11 (UPI) -- Israeli officials in the occupied territories of the West Bank are preparing to conduct a population census of Arabs living in areas slated for annexation, Israeli media reported Thursday.
The reports indicated Israel's Civil Administration is mobilizing a plan to determine how many Palestinians live inside the areas that will come under direct Israeli rule, including Area C, which is home to nearly 400,000 Israeli settlers and about 300,000 Palestinians.
The aim is to prevent Palestinians from moving into the areas just before they are annexed as a way to gain Israeli residency or even citizenship, Israel's Kan Radio reported.
Teams of census takers will move from house to house using "technology means" to count people, accompanied by security personnel, the broadcaster said.
The Israeli government has yet to finalize its annexation plan, although Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has stated a goal of annexing 30 percent of the West Bank as soon as July 1 under U.S. President Donald Trump's peace plan, which was introduced at the White House on Jan. 28.
Palestinian leaders have rejected the plan and King Abdullah II of Jordan warned last month that if Israel "really annexes the West Bank in July, it would lead to a massive conflict" with his country.
The Jerusalem Post reported senior government officials have denied reports that Netanyahu has abandoned his stated aim of annexing all of the West Bank territories in one move and would instead extend sovereignty over only some Israeli settlements in an initial phase.
The reports said Israel would annex only the settlements of Ma'ale Adumim, Ariel and Gush Etzion in a first round.