West Bank Annexation On Track Despite Criticism, Opposition, Threats

The biggest impact of the deal for a unity government will be allowing Netanyahu to fulfill campaign promises to advance legislation for annexation of part of the West Bank. The deal purportedly allows Netanyahu to bring the legislation starting July 1, 2020. Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more…

Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that Israel’s annexation plans are not something with which the White House would interfere. “The Israelis will ultimately make those decisions. That’s an Israeli decision, but we’ll work closely with them to share our views of this in a private setting,” Pompeo said during a press conference. Reported by The Times of Israel.Read more…

The Palestinian Authority vehemently disagrees with Pompeo’s assessment. PA President Mahmoud Abbas has threatened cancellation of all agreements between the PA, Israel, and the U.S. if annexation goes forward. Nabil Abu Rdeineh, a spokesman for Abbas, said the U.S. does not have the right to give away Palestinian land. He also predicted that Pompeo’s comments would be used as a green light for Israel to push for annexation. The PA’s Prime Minister, Mohammad Shtayyeh, told EU diplomat Sven Kühn von Burgsdorff that annexation will destroy the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more…

(Read blog entry,here).

In the United Kingdom, nearly 130 members of parliament have written to prime minister Boris Johnson urging him to impose economic sanctions on Israel if annexation plans go forward. Reported by The Guardian. Read more…

Saeb Erekat, secretary general of the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s Executive Committee is urging world leaders to do more than rebuke Israel if it annexes the West Bank, calling for real-world repercussions if Israel moves forward. Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more…

The Arab League has also entered the fray. The League’s minister issued a joint statement saying, “The implementation of plans to annex any part of the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967, including the Jordan Valley… and the lands on which Israeli settlements are standing represents a new war crime… against the Palestinian people.” The League also asked the United States to “withdraw its support in enabling the plans of the occupying Israeli government.” Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more…

Nonetheless, the White House maintains that it backs Israel’s plans for annexation so long as it is carried out in the framework of the peace deal President Donald Trump presented on January 28.  Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more…

Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Joe Biden’s senior policy advisor, Tony Blinken, says Biden opposes unilateral annexation of parts of the West Bank, but that Biden would leave the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem is elected. Blinken also said annexation of settlements or the Jordan Valley would be bad for Israel. Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more…