Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said he expects that the United States will soon approve Israel’s move to annex parts of the West Bank during comments made Sunday while discussing Trump’s “deal of the century” peace plan. He projected this will happen in a mere two months.
“President Trump pledged to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Jewish communities there and in the Jordan Valley,” Netanyahu said.
“A couple of months from now I am confident that that pledge will be honored,” he told the European Commission for Israel, a pro-Israeli Christian group in Europe during a video call.
Last week Netanyahu signed a power-sharing agreement with leader of the centrist Blue and White party Benny Gantz to finally form a unity government after a year of multiple gridlocked elections.
At the same time the prime minister announced July 1 as the date to formally start cabinet discussions for extending Jewish settlements further into the West Bank as well as outright annexation of the Jordan Valley area.
According to the Netanyahu-Gantz agreement, the drastic expansions plan must be backed by Washington to take effect. The prime minister’s Sunday remarks emphasized Trump’s peace deal rolled out in January as the foundation on which the West Bank expansion plan is based.
Of course, Palestinians have refused to be part of the so-called ‘deal of the century’ and have repeatedly pointed out they weren’t even invited to the table. Surrounding Arab nations have also condemned the plan.
Should Israeli annexation indeed move forward by this summer, as Netanyahu envisions, it could potentially unleash protests and violence on the level of a third Intifiada. Palestinian Authority leaders as well as Hamas have vowed that such an extensive new Israeli land grab will be resisted by call costs.