Ofir Akunis (Oz77/Wikimedia Commons)

Netanyahu Ally Confirms Delay in Annexation Moves

A confidant of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is saying that Israeli moves to annex parts of the West Bank will take place sometime later in July rather than on July 1, as had been proclaimed by Netanyahu. It is believed that the Trump Administration feels Netanyahu has been moving too quickly on annexation, and asked him to take his foot off the gas. With the Prime Minister’s Office staying silent, it was left to Ofir Akunis, minister for regional cooperation and a Netanyahu protégé, to do the talking. “It will, for sure, take place during the month of July,” Akunis told Army Radio on Wednesday, referring to annexation. “It could have happened today, but things must first come together with the American administration…. To the best of my knowledge, this has not yet happened.” On Tuesday, Netanyahu met in Jerusalem with Avi Berkowitz, US President Donald Trump’s special representative for international negotiations, and David Friedman, the US ambassador to Israel. There was no follow-up statement. During his radio interview, Akunis referenced a statement on annexation from Washington that last week was said to be imminent, but now seems to have been put on the back-burner.

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