Netanyahu: US prevented me from carrying out annexation plans

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (MEMO)

Middle East Monitor  /  August 12, 2020

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday revealed that the United States prevented him from carrying out his plan to annex large swathes of the occupied West Bank, Israeli media reported.

Speaking to Israeli TV Channel 20, Netanyahu said: “It was clear from the start that the application of sovereignty would be done only with agreement from the United States. Otherwise, I would have already done it a while ago.”

According to Jerusalem Post, Netanyahu added: “Trump is now busy with other things, and this [annexation] is not on the top of his mind.”

He continued: “I hope that in the near future we will be able to advance recognition of the application of sovereignty as well as other diplomatic issues of importance to Israel.”

Israel’s new government was expected to present its strategy last month for implementing the so-called “Middle East peace plan” drawn up by the Trump administration. The plan gives Israel a free hand to annex large parts of the West Bank, including the Jordan Valley, which the Jewish state occupied in 1967.

Palestinians believe Israel’s plan will see the occupation state illegally seize 30 per cent of the West Bank. They have said they are no longer bound by treaties agreed with Israel if annexation goes ahead.

The plan was “postponed” after US officials and Israelis could not agree on how and when the annexation efforts could begin.