Middle East Monitor / February 10, 2020
The US will not request Israel recognise the State of Palestine as part of its “peace deal” for the Middle East, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in the cabinet meeting yesterday.
“We are already in the process of mapping the territory that according to the Trump plan will be part of the State of Israel,” the Times of Israel reported Netanyahu saying at a Likud campaign event in the illegal Ma’ale Adumim settlement on Saturday night.
“This will not take a lot of time and we will complete this,” he added, without giving more detail about how and when this will happen.
During the cabinet meeting yesterday, Tzipi Hotovely and Bezalel Smotrich rejected Netanyahu’s intention to recognise a potential non-sovereign Palestinian state.
According to Arab48, Smotrich told Netanyahu during the cabinet meeting: “Shooting inside the armoured personnel carrier will not give you more votes or make you closer to the position of prime minister. As you have said, you will recognise a Palestinian state if the Palestinians met the conditions.”
Bariv Levin, from the Likud, screamed: “We have done our best in order not to discuss the deal of the century in order not to link between imposing Israeli sovereignty [over the West Bank] to the fate of the government.”
Netanyahu responded: “We are not obliged to take a government decision to approve the Palestinian state. The Americans will not request this.”
This controversy followed remarks by the US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman who has stated that the US is against any unilateral and immediate annexation of the occupied West Bank.
Friedman said that US President Donald Trump’s “vision for peace is the product of more than three years of close consultations” between Trump, Netanyahu and their senior staff.
He added: “As we have stated, the application of Israeli law to the territory which the plan provides to be part of Israel is subject to the completion a mapping process by a joint Israeli-American committee.”
Friedman warned that “any unilateral action in advance of the completion of the committee process endangers the plan and American recognition.”