Israel has informed the Palestinian Authority, headed by Mahmoud Abbas, that the Jordan Valley will not be included in its plan to annex parts of the Western Bank, Israel’s N12 reported on June 26.
A senior Palestinian official told N12 that Abbas was informed in a message which was delivered to Jordan in a recent meeting between Mossad chief Yossi Cohen and King Abdullah II.
According to the Israeli outlet, the annexation plan will cover two or three settlements blocks. The settlements of Gush Etzion and the city of Ma’ale Adumim, which are located near Jerusalem, will likely be included.
The Israeli decision to exclude the Jordan Valley from the annexation plan may have been the result of pressure from the U.S.
A recent report by the London-based al-Hayat newspaper revealed that U.S. President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner had asked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to suspend the annexation of the Western Bank.
Al-Hayat reported that Kushner is worried that the annexation may have a negative impact on Israel’s newly-founded ties with Arab Gulf states.
Netanyahu, who promised to annex parts of the Western Bank during his last election campaign, is likely planning to please both the U.S. and Arab Gulf states by excluding the Jordan Valley from the annexation.
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