Delay appears likely in Israel’s plans to annex parts of West Bank

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, seen earlier this month in Jerusalem, has yet to decide publicly about the annexation of parts of the West Bank, despite a target date arriving Wednesday. (photo: Florian Gaertner / Photothek via Getty Image)
The pushback on annexation from many countries may be pressuring Netanyahu to consider a less-ambitious move.

By Scott Neuman / Colin Dwyer | NPR |  July 1, 2020

‘It seems unlikely to me that this will happen today,’
—Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi, a member of the Blue and White party

For weeks, observers of Israel and the Palestinian territories have had July 1 circled on the calendar. Yet, despite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s previous suggestions, it appears that the date will pass without a formal announcement concerning Israel’s plans for annexing part of the occupied West Bank.

“It seems unlikely to me that this will happen today,” said Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi, a member of the Blue and White party, which partnered with Netanyahu’s Likud in an uneasy coalition government earlier this year.

In comments to Israel’s Army Radio on Wednesday, Ashkenazi cautioned that only the prime minister could clarify the timing with certainty.

Netanyahu himself said Tuesday that his discussions with U.S. officials would continue in the “coming days,” suggesting a delay in plans to declare sovereignty over a significant chunk of the Jewish settlements in the region.

Annexation is opposed by most countries but was based on the Trump administration’s peace proposal released in January.

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