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US opposes Israel annexation of West Bank before peace plan revealed

January 23, 2020 at 9:01 am

A general view of Israeli settlements in the West Bank on 20 November 2019 [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]

The White House is opposing any Israeli move to annex parts of the occupied West Bank “before declaring its [US] prospective plan to settle the Israel-Palestinian conflict, known as Deal of the Century,” a US official announced yesterday.

Israel’s Channel 13 quoted the American official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, as saying that the US administration had “clearly made its stance clear to the Israeli government”, adding that the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was “fully aware that the US does not support any unilateral annexation steps by Israel before a peace plan has been announced.”

The official did not clarify whether Washington supports the Israeli annexation plan at all.

Last year, the White House said the plan was pending the formation of a new Israeli government. However, Israeli media reported recently that the US would announce the plan sometime before the national elections due on 2 March.

READ: The resumption of limited US support for the PA does not solve its financial crisis 

On Tuesday, Netanyahu said that he would annex the Jordan Valley, northern Dead Sea, and the Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.

The US peace plan for the Middle East, dubbed the “deal of the century”, consists of two parts – economic and political. The former was announced last year during a conference in the Bahraini capital Manama.

US officials revealed the plan – laid down by American President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner – would lead to a $50 billion investment, including $28 billion in the occupied West Bank and besieged Gaza Strip, while the remainder would be spent in Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon.

Palestinians rejected the deal, saying it aims to liquidate the Palestinian cause.