PM confirms talks with United States on Judea and Samaria settlement sovereignty ongoing “for some time”.
Prime Minister Netanyahu on Monday announced he is in talks with the Trump Administration on annexing Jewish settlements in the West Bank.
Speaking to members of his government party, Likud, Netanyahu confirmed reports of talks on sovereignty for Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria with the United States stating, “On the subject of applying sovereignty I can say that I have been talking to the Americans about it for some time,” referring to the Trump Administration.
He added “Two principles have been guiding me: Communicating to the Americans that our connection with them is a strategic asset for Israel, but also for the settlements, [and] that this needs to be a government initiative and not a private one, as this is a historic move,” referring to the “Sovereignty Bill” in Israel, a current draft bill in Israel’s government which would extend Israel’s sovereignty to Jewish towns and cities in the West Bank.
His announcement comes during a meeting between Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi Monday. Abbas is expected to request Russia play a significant role in its new mediation efforts, as well as discuss plans for a peace conference.
It also falls ahead of Abbas’s scheduled address to the United Nations Security Council next week. The Palestinians are expected to continue their efforts in fighting Jerusalem’s recognition by the United States and others, as well as for their own state recognition. Abbas is expected to again request full membership to the United Nations.
The White House on Tuesday denied Netanyahu’s remarks, a spokesman for the White House stating “Reports that the United States discussed with Israel an annexation plan for the West Bank are false. The United States and Israel have never discussed such a proposal, and the president’s focus remains squarely on his Israeli-Palestinian peace initiative.”
Photo: PM Netanyahu, Wikimedia Commons, 2018.