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Netanyahu’s dilemma over his annexation plan

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu must now decide whether he wants to go ahead with his annexation plan, or hope that the White House will get him out of it.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a statement overlooking the Israeli settlement of Har Homa, located in an area of the Israeli-occupied West Bank, that Israel annexed to Jerusalem after the region's capture in the 1967 Middle East war, February 20, 2020. Debbie Hill/Pool via REUTERS - RC2E4F9ALPB6

Less than a month before the July 1 target date allowing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to bring up to vote annexation of a significant part of the West Bank, no one has any idea where the country is heading. Netanyahu’s intentions are unclear. He continues to trumpet the historic opportunity afforded by the green light for annexation that President Donald Trump gave Israel in January, but no one knows what Netanyahu really means to do. Will he take advantage of the opportunity offered by the Americans to declare Israeli sovereignty over 30% of the West Bank on July 1? Will he annex a smaller portion of land? Will he delay the move? Will he forgo the whole idea at this time?

Netanyahu is torn between polarized ideologies and the political and security risks entailed in annexation. He is also sorely tempted to go down in the history of Israel’s ideological and political right in a move that would overshadow another historic precedent he set this year in becoming the first incumbent premier to stand criminal trial.

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