(File Photo Courtesy)

Elements within Netanyahu’s Base Up Opposition to Trump Peace Plan

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has slammed one of the settlement movement’s most influential proponents, David Elhayani, who told the Haaretz daily that US President Donald Trump “was not a friend of Israel.” Elhayani is chairman of the Jordan Valley Regional Council and last year was elected head of the powerful Yesha Council, an umbrella group representing Jewish communities in the West Bank. Netanyahu said in a statement to the same newspaper that “it is unfortunate that instead of expressing gratitude [to the American leader] there are those who deny this friendship, which is unparalleled.” He noted that President Trump had relocated the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and had recognized Israeli sovereignty over the parts of the Golan Heights captured from Syria during the 1967 war. While Netanyahu has vowed to proceed with annexing about 30% of the West Bank in accordance with the Trump Administration’s Middle East peace plan, he is facing growing opposition from various settler leaders – who themselves are divided – over the US proposal’s call for the eventual establishment of a Palestinian state. These individuals reject this potentiality on principle, believing it would pose an existential threat to Israel.

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