An Israeli minister in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition government said that the resurgence of the coronavirus and political divisions were the main reasons behind the delay in Israel’s annexation of occupied Palestinian land in the West Bank.
The minister spoke to Reuters on the condition of anonymity.
The Israeli minister told the news agency that although Netanyahu and his coalition partner Benny Gantz seemed to agree on the July 1 date to launch the annexation process, “there has been ‘close to zero’ cabinet-level discussion on the issue,” Reuters reported.
The opposition stems largely from Gantz’s Blue and White party, which has convinced Washington that annexation of Palestinian land, illegal under international law, does not have sweeping support among the country’s ruling class.
The opposition in the government however doesn’t seem to be based on the rejection of the plan itself, but the timing.
“It’s a matter of right plan, wrong time,” the minister, reportedly from the Blue and White, said.
“We are in the middle of the biggest crisis Israel has seen in decades… and it would be irresponsible and insensitive to tend to anything else at the moment,” he added.
Netanyahu had pledged to annex nearly 30 percent of the total size of the occupied Palestinian West Bank and Jordan Valley, an act deemed a stark violation of international law.
Although annexation didn’t actualize on July 1, a self-imposed deadline by Netanyahu himself, Israel remains adamant in its intentions to formalize the annexation of large swaths of Palestinian land.
Washington is supportive of the Israeli move, although media reports spoke of the possibility that Donald Trump’s Administration may have requested that Tel Aviv delay its plans for an unspecified period of time.
Source: The Palestine Chronicle