A team of US officials has left Israel without coming to an agreement on when the planned annexation of the occupied West Bank will take place, Al-Watan Voice reported yesterday.
Headed by US Special Representative for the Middle East, Avi Berkowitz, the team met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi, and Alternate Prime Minister and Defense Minister Benny Gantz in an effort to come to a united stance on the annexation plan.
Netanyahu said that his government’s discussions with the US on annexation would continue “in the coming days”.
Israeli annexation was expected to begin yesterday according to a deadline set by Netanyahu. Speaking to Army Radio, however, the country’s Regional Cooperation Minister Ofir Akunis said annexation “will certainly happen in July”, but it has to be done in partnership with the US, adding it “will only happen after a declaration by [US President Donald] Trump”.
Palestinians believe Israel’s plan will see the occupation state illegally seize 30 percent of the West Bank. They have said they are no longer bound by treaties agreed with Israel if annexation goes ahead.
Over the last few months, Netanyahu repeatedly promised to annex parts of the Palestinian territories. This includes large swathes of the already occupied West Bank and parts of the strategic Jordan Valley.
The idea began to take form in a tangible way following the Trump Administration’s announcement of the so-called Deal of the Century on January 28, which allows Israel to seize parts of the occupied Palestinian territories, and grants Palestinians a ‘state’ on the disjointed parts of whatever remains of the West Bank.
Source: The Palestine Chronicle