New reports in Tel Aviv, including a secret letter sent by former US President Donald Trump to then-Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, revealed that everything was ready in Washington to authorize the annexation of about a third of Palestinian land in the West Bank to Israel.
The third of Palestinian territory that were up for annexation included the Jordan Valley and northern Dead Sea areas and Jewish settlements in the West Bank.
In exchange for the annexation, Israel would agree to the establishment of a Palestinian state in the remaining two thirds of the West Bank, revealed the Jerusalem Post in a report.
The deal was supported by the entire Trump administration. This resulted in Trump sending a letter confirming his approval and Netanyahu traveled to Washington for a final agreement. Two Jewish settlement leaders traveled with Netanyahu.
One of the leaders backed the then-prime minister’s direction, but the other leader considered the deal a wrong decision because it would grant sovereignty to a Palestinian state.
But Trump's son-in-law and former senior adviser Jared Kushner was planning for Israel a strategic gift, which was to establish normal and peaceful relations with new Arab countries.
It was later discovered that the United Arab Emirates demanded the annulment of annexation to join the normalization plans with Israel.
So Kushner delayed giving approval for the annexation, at first on the pretext of the coronavirus pandemic, and in the end revealed the truth of his agreement with the UAE to cancel the takeover.
In a three-page letter dated January 26, 2020, two days before Trump presented his Vision for Peace in the White House, the president summarized some of its details, reported the Post in its exclusive report.
The details included that Israel would be able to extend sovereignty to parts of the West Bank, as delineated in the map included in the plan if Netanyahu agreed to a Palestinian state in the remaining territory on that map.
Trump asked Netanyahu to adopt "the policies outlined in... the Vision [for peace] regarding those territories of the West Bank identified as becoming part of a future Palestinian state."
"In exchange for Israel implementing these policies," the US president continued, "and formally adopting detailed territorial plans not inconsistent with the Conceptual Map attached to my Vision – the United States will recognize Israeli sovereignty in those areas of the West Bank that my vision contemplates as being part of Israel."
The letter did not delineate a timeline for sovereignty recognition.
Netanyahu’s response was that Israel would move forward with sovereignty plans “in the coming days,” according to his spokesman, who did not provide the letter.
The letter calls into question the narrative set out in "Breaking History: A White House Memoir", a new book by Kushner.
In it, Kushner asserts that former US ambassador to Israel David Friedman went behind his and the president’s back and "assured Netanyahu that he would get the White House to support annexation more immediately."
"He had not conveyed this to me or anyone on my team," Kushner said.
Friedman and Netanyahu viewed the matter differently. Netanyahu’s spokesman said: "The charge that prime minister Netanyahu surprised the president and his staff with an uncoordinated announcement... is utterly baseless."