Israel delays annexation
occupied jerusalem — An Israeli minister played down on Tuesday the likelihood of major moves to annex Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank on July 1, the planned start date for cabinet debate on the issue.
Zeev Elkin, a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, said Israel still did not have the green light it seeks from Washington to begin extending its sovereignty to parts of the West Bank, territory Palestinians seek for a state.
Netanyahu said he had met US Ambassador David Friedman and White House adviser Avi Berkowitz to discuss “the sovereignty question”, adding: “We are working on it in these very days and will continue working on it in the coming days.” —
occupied jerusalem — Israel’s deputy premier has said West Bank annexations must wait, while allies and regional powers have condemned the project — but hours before his government can move forward, the prime minister’s plans remained unknown on Tuesday.
Benjamin Netanyahu has endorsed a US-proposed peace plan that paves the way for Israel to annex territory in the occupied West
Bank, including Jewish settlements considered illegal under international law.
His coalition government set July 1 as the date it can begin action on
President Donald Trump’s proposals, roundly rejected by the Palestinians.
Ahead of the self-imposed kick-off date, Netanyahu met in Jerusalem with US Ambassador David Friedman, a supporter of Jewish West Bank settlers, and Washington’s envoy for international negotiations, Avi Berkowitz.
“I discussed the question of sovereignty, which we are currently working on and will continue to work on in the coming days,” Netanyahu said in a statement issued after the US meeting.
Application of “sovereignty” is a term used widely in Israel to refer to what the international community considers annexation.
On Monday, Netanyahu’s chief coalition partner, defence minister and alternate prime minister Benny Gantz, said annexation must be put on hold until Israel’s resurging coronavirus outbreak has been contained.
I discussed the question of sovereignty, which we are currently working on and will continue to work on in the coming days Benjamin Netanyahu Israeli PM