Delay Appears Likely In Israel's Plans To Annex Parts Of West Bank

Clay Curtis
July 2, 2020

An aide to Netanyahu said talks with Washington - Israel's main ally - were continuing and that the prime minister had consulted Israeli defense officials on Wednesday, with more discussions to be held "in the coming days".

In a dissenting voice, the AfD's Anton Friesen said the annexation was in Israel's national interest.

"We will include human rights conditions and the withholding of funds for the offshore procurement of Israeli weapons equal to or exceeding the amount the Israeli government spends annually to fund settlements, as well as the policies and practices that sustain and enable them", the 13 lawmakers wrote.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson implored Israel to not proceed with annexation.

Netanyahu and his senior coalition partner, Defense Minister Benny Gantz appeared to feud about the timing of the country's planned unilateral annexation of parts of the occupied West Bank.

The Palestinians want the West Bank as part of a future state and have rejected the Israeli proposals outright as a death blow to their hopes for self-determination.

"Annexation would put in jeopardy the progress that Israel has made in improving relationships with the Arab and Muslim world", Johnson wrote, calling for a solution that allows justice and security for both Israelis and Palestinians. If it does, the United Kingdom will not recognize any changes to the 1967 lines, except those agreed between both parties.

The United Nations, the European Union and Arab countries have also called on Israel to scrap its annexation plans, saying they would violate worldwide law, harm the prospect of a two-state solution, and undercut the possibilities of renewing the Middle East peace process.

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Last week, Guterres said that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is at a "watershed moment".

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh, speaking at a June 9 briefing with reporters, called annexation "an issue in which we can not be silent".

"So I think there is tension between Netanyahu and the White House on this right now".

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said the plan "belongs to the dustbin of history". One possibility is said to be annexing a small number of settlements near Jerusalem.

The step would be in line with a blueprint announced by Donald Trump in January under which Israel would control of 30 per cent of the West Bank.

Speaking on Israel's Army Radio station, Cabinet minister Ofir Akunis, a Netanyahu confidant, confirmed that the annexation process would not begin Wednesday, saying that officials were still working out the final details with their USA counterparts.

Calling himself a "passionate defender of Israel", Johnson said that for Israel to follow through with its sovereignty plan would represent "a violation of global law" and would also be "a gift to those who want to perpetuate the old stories about Israel".

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