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Will Netanyahu opt for partial annexation?

Some reports say Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu might opt for a phased annexation plan for the West Bank that, at least at first, would exclude the Jordan Valley.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wears a mask as he looks on during the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem May 31, 2020. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun - RC2LZG9EHLTK

A senior American source told Israel’s public radio Kan on June 11 that if Israel’s government opts for limited annexation of West Bank lands, the Trump administration might go along with it. The source said that in such a case, Israel would have to present the administration with a detailed map and explain why it is in Israel’s interest to proceed that way. The final decision is obviously Israel’s, said the source, who specified that the joint Israeli-American mapping committee tasked with drawing up the borders of the Trump peace plan has not yet completed its work.

The source was referring to recent reports indicating that Israel is considering a phased annexation plan. According to these reports, Israel would propose, as a first step, to annex only the West Bank towns of Maale Adumim and Ariel and the Etzion settlement bloc near Jerusalem. Netanyahu would initially announce the annexation of these three blocs but not the Jordan Valley or other settlement areas, it was claimed.

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