Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu (left) and Ambassador to Israel David Friedman study a map on February 24 as a joint panel begins studying possible parameters for annexations in the West Bank. (David Azagury/US Embassy Jerusalem)

Committee Gets Down to Mapping West Bank for Trump Peace Plan

A joint US-Israeli panel headed by David Friedman, the American ambassador to Israel, began work on Monday at Ariel, an Israeli settlement, to map out what the West Bank might look like under a strategy for peace put forward by the Trump Administration. The members of the committee were joined by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, an enthusiastic supporter of the plan, which was unveiled by President Donald Trump – with Netanyahu at his side – on January 28 at the White House. Absent from that ceremony were any Palestinian leaders, who have rejected the proposal as being wildly biased in favor of Israel. The plan allows for the Jewish state’s annexation of settlements like Ariel, as well as continued control of a united Jerusalem, precluding any sovereignty there for the Palestinians, who see part of the city as the capital of a future state. Netanyahu, who is about to go on trial for alleged corruption, is facing an election next week and is also busy managing a spike in tensions across Israel’s border with the Gaza Strip.

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