PA Ends Security Coordination; Jordan Says If Annexation Proceeds It Will Reexamine Its Relationship With Israel; Netanyhu Says Israel to Exercise Sovereignty Over West Bank In July; Israeli Annexation Plans Drawing International Fire; Russia Ready To Host Meeting Between Netanyahu, Abbas

The Palestinian Authority is carrying out its threat to end security coordination with Israel because of plans to annex parts of the West Bank. Confirmation comes from Israeli sources, according to a report in The Times of Israel. Israeli defense officials believe cessation of security coordination could lead to increased violence and more clashes between Palestinians and Israeli troops. Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more… Though the Palestinians are formally cutting security coordination with Israel, secret coordination is likely to continue. The PA reportedly told Israel that it would not allow an outbreak of violence against Israel. Defense officials fear Hamas will use the lack of security coordination however to expand. Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more…

If Israel proceeds with plans to annex parts of the West Bank, Jordan say it will review it relationship with the Jewish State. “We will not accept unilateral Israeli moves to annex Palestinian lands and we would be forced to review all aspects of our relations with Israel,” Jordanian Prime Minister Omar al-Razzaz told Jordan’s official news agency, Petra. Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more…

The U.S. Democratic leadership also opposes annexation and told Israel so in a letter signed by 18 Democratic senators. The senators voiced “grave concern” over Israel’s plans to annex West Bank settlements and the Jordan Valley and said it “would have a clear impact on both Israel’s future and our vital bilateral and bipartisan relationship.” The letter was addressed to both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz. Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more…

Russia is ready to organize a meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmood Abbas in the hope of diffusing rising tension over Israel’s annexation plans. According to a statement issued by Russia’s foreign ministry, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Mikhail Bogdanov, in a telephone conversation with PA Civil Affairs Minister Hussein al-Sheikh emphasized Russia’s “support of the lawful rights of the Palestinian people for self-determination, including creation of its own independent state within the 1967 borders with the capital in Eastern Jerusalem that would live in peace and good neighborhood with Israel.” He also told al-Sheikh that Russia was ready to help in the Israeli-Palestinian negotiation process. Reported by The Times of Israel.Read more…

Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claims he has set a date in July for Israel to extend its sovereignty over areas of the West. Bank. Netanyahu also reportedly told Likud party lawmakers that he has no intention of changing that date. Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more… Despite his proclamation, however, Ze’ev Elkin, a top member of Netanyahu’s security cabinet, said the timing could be delayed by days or weeks. This is because, under the terms of the proposed U.S. peace plan, Israel must complete mapping the exact territory to be annexed and the status of each. According to Elkin, the work may not be complete by July 1. Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more… Additionally, Netanyahu says the Palestinians living under Israeli rule in the annexed Jordan Valley will not receive Israeli citizenship. He stated that Palestinian towns and villages in the area will be “Palestinian enclaves” under Palestinian rule but Israeli security control. Netanyahu cited the Palestinian city of Jericho as an example, which has a population of about 20,000. Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more…

According to a report in the Times of Israel, the Israeli government may have missed a prime opportunity to implement annexation immediately. The report says that in January 2020 U.S. President Donald Trump was prepared to allow Israel to annex portions of the West Bank immediately if the Palestinians rejected his peace plan. A delegation of five settler leaders met with U.S. President Donald Trump on January 26, along with then interim Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. One of the settlement leaders, however, released a press statement shortly thereafter blasting the plan. This, according to one mayor, left Trump and his advisors livid and led to a change that imposed additional requirements on Israel before annexation could proceed. Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more…

Ayman Safadi, Jordan’s foreign minister, has warned top U.S. and U.K. diplomats that Israel’s planned annexation poses an “unprecedented threat” to the region. Safadi spoke with the U.K.’s foreign minister, Dominic Raab, purportedly urging him to protect the peace and prevent Israel from annexing West Bank settlements. In a conversation with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Safadi he warned that Jordan was strongly opposed to the move, which he said endangered the prospects for peace. Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more… And, although Austria voted down an EU declaration against Israel’s annexation plans, the European nation nonetheless warned Israel annexation plan contravened international law. In a statement to the German daily newspaper Die Presse, Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg said, “The unilateral expansion of territory is against international law and numerous resolutions of the United Nations Security Council since 1967.” Schallenberg also said “There are no doubts about the Austrian position regarding annexation.” Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more…Several European leaders have also reportedly sent private letters to Netanyahu urging him to not move ahead with plans to annex portions of the West Bank. French President Emmanuel Macron, for example, reportedly told the Israeli prime minister that, “I ask you, in a spirit of friendship, that your new government not take unilateral action. Such a move would destabilize the Middle East. Only dialogue with the Palestinians and a just and balanced solution will provide Israel with peace, security and stability.” Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more…

The U.S. has issued a security alert for citizens visiting the West Bank, advising them to exercise extra caution when traveling there or the Gaza Strip. The U.S. embassy in Jerusalem has advised U.S. citizens to “maintain a high level of vigilance and to take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness.” Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more…

Meanwhile the International Criminal Court, which is probing alleged war crimes violations, has asked the Palestinian Authority to clarify whether statements made by PA President Mahmoud Abbas that the PA was terminating all agreements with Israel applied to the Oslo Accords. The request places the PA in an unusual position. If the PA takes the position that the Accords have been terminated, then it cannot claim to be a sovereign state; the ICC would have no jurisdiction to hear its complaint against Israel. On the other hand, if the PA re-affirms its commitment to the Accords, it will have to abide by them, Abbas’ statements notwithstanding. Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more…

Israel’s military liaison with the Palestinian Authority, Maj. Gen. Kamil Abu Rukun, has reportedly told the Israeli army chief, Lt. Gen. Aviv Kohavi, and Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz that annexation would “likely to lead to a wave of terror attacks and a breaking of security cooperation” with the Palestinian Authority. Both the IDS and Defense Ministry have refused to comment on the report, which aired on Army Radio. Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more…