Senior US Presidential aide Jared Kushner reportedly warned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to “greatly slow the process” of unilateral annexation of large parts of the West Bank and Jordan Valley, according to a report on Israel’s Channel 13 yesterday.
Kushner reportedly wanted to “downplay the enthusiasm” for annexation while the US struggles to contain the coronavirus outbreak and faces nationwide protests over the death of an unarmed black man, George Floyd, in Minneapolis.
According to the Channel 13 report, Kushner called for a slowdown of annexation plans during a conference call with Netanyahu, Israel’s Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer, US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman and White House special representative for international negotiations Avi Berkowitz.
When US officials questioned Netanyahu over Israeli plans to begin annexation, they received no answer, the New Arab reported.
The call took place only the day after Israel’s Defense Minister Benny Gantz ordered Aviv Kohavi, the Chief of Staff for the Israeli army, to “step up preparations” for government plans to begin annexation of illegal settlements in the West Bank and the strategic Jordan Valley in July, according to the Times of Israel.
Trump’s Middle East plan greenlights Israeli annexation of approximately 30 percent of the West Bank, including the strategic Jordan Valley and settlements widely considered illegal under international law.
On May 24, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu renewed his pledge to annex part of the occupied Palestinian West Bank in July.
Palestinians have expressed outrage, appealing to the international community to block the Israeli step, which, if implemented, would be considered the final nail in the two-state solution’s coffin.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas announced on May 19 that the PA is canceling all agreements with Israel and the US, as a direct response to Israel’s annexation plans.
Source: The Palestine Chronicle