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Netanyahu Discusses Annexation Plan with Settlement Leaders

Netanyahu Discusses Annexation Plan with Settlement Leaders

Wednesday, 3 June, 2020 - 06:15
Israeli PM Netanyahu. AFP file photo

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pushed on Tuesday heads of the settlements council to support his controversial plan to annex parts of the occupied West Bank based on the plan of US President Donald Trump.

The council, an umbrella group of Jewish municipal councils of West Bank settlements, held a meeting with the PM Tuesday.

Following the meeting, the PM’s office released a statement calling on the settler leaders to back the “historic opportunity.”

"We have a historic opportunity to apply sovereignty in the territories of Judea and Samaria," Netanyahu said, using the Israeli name for the West Bank.

The PM said he is "in discussions" with US officials over the implementation of the plan. "It was agreed to continue the dialogue.”

Council representatives are against the US plan, particularly the transformation of some settlements into isolated enclaves encircled by the future Palestinian state.

Based on a conceptual map released by the US in January, they fear the plan would leave some 19 localities isolated with limited access to the Israeli center.

Unveiled last January, Trump’s peace plan would allow Israel to apply sovereignty over settlements and the Jordan Valley.

The plan includes the establishment of a highly fragmented Palestinian state connected by bridges and tunnels.

Israel is expected to carry out the West Bank annexation on July 1.

Palestinian officials have threatened to abolish bilateral agreements with Israel if it goes ahead with the annexation plans, which will undermine the two-state solution.

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