Netanyahu: First Phase of Annexation to Be Brought Before Government on Sunday
WASHINGTON – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday that the first stage of applying Israeli sovereignty to Israeli settlements in the West Bank, the Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea will be brought before the government on Sunday.
After U.S. President Donald Trump unveiled his plan, Netanyahu said that the U.S. recognized the applying of Israeli law to these areas.
– Peace to Prosperity: The Trump administration’s Middle East peace plan – click to download
IN FULL: Trump’s Middle East peace plan – click to download
– Haaretz Weekly Ep. 58
Haaretz Weekly Ep. 58Haaretz
Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit, who was asked at a conference about the option of annexation during an interim government, said it was too early to tell: “On the day the government turns [to me], we will examine it legally in accordance to the laws that we know.” According to Mendelblit, the government “will have to explain why it is urgent and why it must be done before the election.”
>> Read more: What Israel and Palestine will look like according to Trump's plan ■ Trump's Mideast plan is a recipe for war, not peace | Opinion ■ Trump’s peace plan will fail – but its vision could still endure | Analysis
In a briefing with reporters, Netanyahu said the international community has threatened for years that applying Israeli law on West Bank territories would result in UN Security Council sanctions. “That is why we didn’t annex,” he said, adding that the U.S. recognition would prevent such an outcome.
Netanyahu added that applying sovereignty would occur in two phases: At the next cabinet meeting, Israeli law would be applied to the Jordan Valley, the northern Dead Sea and all of the West Bank settlements. After that, he said, and in coordination with the U.S., the next phase would be applying Israeli law to more territories surrounding the settlements.
Following Trump's unveiling of the plan Netanyahu thanked Trump for recognizing Israeli sovereignty over settlements in the West Bank: "For too long, far too long, the very heart of the Land of Israel where our patriarchs prayed, our prophets preached and our kings ruled has been outrageously branded as illegally occupied territory. Well today Mr. President, you are puncturing this big lie. You are recognizing Israel's sovereignty over all of the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, large and small alike"