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US to reject any Israeli annexation of West Bank: Ambassador

November 10, 2022 at 3:20 pm

US Ambassador to Israel, Tom Nides [Leigh Vogel/Getty Images for Concordia Summit]

US Ambassador to Israel, Tom Nides, said Thursday Washington will oppose any Israeli attempt to annex parts of the Occupied West Bank, Anadolu News Agency reports.

“We will push back against any attempt at annexation,” Nides told the Israeli public broadcaster, KAN.

“We don’t support annexation. It’s not just us; it’s most countries,” he said.

Opposition leader, Benjamin Netanyahu, is set to form the upcoming government in Israel after his right-wing alliance won last week’s legislative elections.

Netanyahu’s camp won 64 seats in the 120-seat Knesset (Israel’s parliament) against 51 seats for members of the current government led by Prime Minister, Yair Lapid.

One of his allies, Bezalel Smotrich, the head of the extremist Religious Zionism Party, wants to hold the defence portfolio in the upcoming government.

Smotrich is known for his extremist views. He supports the annexation of the West Bank and for the dismantling of the Israeli Civil Administration, which rules the Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territory.

READ: Egypt FM affirms importance of maintaining calm in West Bank

“We will see who gets into which positions and what positions they take,” Nides said. “We want to see, rhetorically, what they say and how they act … At this point, the government isn’t even formed … Then, we’ll determine what conversation can take place.”

On Wednesday, Israeli President, Isaac Herzog, began three-day consultations with representatives of the political parties voted into the Knesset, before tasking an individual with forming a government based on their recommendations.

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