Netanyahu Says West Bank Annexations to Happen in July
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Monday told fellow Likud lawmakers that an immutable date in July had been set when Israel would push ahead with annexing parts of the West Bank in accordance with US President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace plan. “We have an opportunity that hasn’t existed since [the founding of the state in] 1948 to apply sovereignty in a wise way… and we will not let this pass,” media reports quoted Netanyahu as saying. He added that the move would be coordinated with the Trump Administration, which envisions Israel applying sovereignty to some 30% of the Palestinian-claimed territory. According to the unity coalition deal recently struck between the right-wing Netanyahu and his centrist rival, Benny Gantz, the prime minister can as of July 1 hold a vote on annexation either in the cabinet or entire parliament. A six-member US-Israeli committee is presently mapping out areas in the West Bank that would be incorporated into the Jewish state, although mixed signals have been emanating from Washington about when the process will be completed and, as a corollary, the green light given to Jerusalem to press forward.