Israel de­lays an­nex­a­tion

Khaleej Times - - FRONT PAGE - NO U.S. GREEN LIGHT

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.

Right-wing pre­mier

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

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