Middle East Monitor / June 20, 2020
According to the Israeli Ministry of Intelligence Services now is the best time to implement the annexation plan, as the Palestinians will not turn violent and Arab countries will not continue protesting, while international criticism will shortly diminish.
Israel Hayom announced on Friday that it had obtained a copy of a position paper presented to the Intelligence Services Minister Eli Cohen, stating that the paper presented the advantages of the Israeli annexation of large parts of the occupied West Bank.
According to the paper, the annexation: “Improves the starting conditions of future negotiations with the Palestinians for Israel and crystallises the cost of Palestinian rejection of peace talks, and therefore could spur [the Palestinians] back to the negotiation table in an effort to halt additional phases.”
The paper also added: “After a wave of diplomatic protests, mainly by governments, the annexation won’t rouse the Arab street against the regimes. The absence of agitation in the streets will make it clear to Arab leaders that the Palestinian issue isn’t a threat to them,” stressing that the annexation will provide a platform for the Arab regimes to improve ties with Israel without waiting for an Israeli-Palestinian arrangement.
Meanwhile, the paper conveyed that the annexation could push the Palestinians back to peace talks with Israel rather than push them further away, explaining that: “After a period in which the international system acclimates itself to annexation, the measure will prod the Palestinians and other elements in the region and the world to find solutions and arrangements that aren’t affixed to the 1967 lines and primarily territorial aspects.”
Regarding US support, the paper recommended proceeding with annexation now rather than to delay: “Because it’s impossible to know how the US presidential election in November will unfold.”
The paper expressed that the annexation will not arouse resistance in the West Bank because the Palestinian Authority (PA) rejects resistance, stating that: “This is derived from its own existential interest.”
The paper also encouraged swift annexation because of the: “PA’s low international standing due to the rift with the US; Hamas’ lack of appetite for another round of fighting; the apathy of the Palestinian public in Judea and Samaria, which is mostly concerned with the troubles of day-to-day life; the world’s preoccupation with the coronavirus pandemic; and the Arab public’s more pressing concerns at home.”
However, former Intelligence Minister Ami Ayalon warned that the annexation would trigger a “violent Intifada” as Hamas will not remain silent and the Israeli army will respond to any Palestinian resistance, leading to a new vicious circle of conflict.