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‘Netanyahu opposed to annexing settlements in Judea & Samaria’

Senior US officials claim that Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has expressed opposition to the idea of applying Israeli sovereignty to all Israeli towns in Judea and Samaria – a step which is apparently part of the soon-to-be-released Middle East peace plan drawn up by the Trump administration.

According to the US officials, Netanyahu backs applying Israeli sovereignty to the Jordan Valley, a strategically critical area on Israel’s eastern border which is included in Judea and Samaria.

Netanyahu’s position was, according to the officials, presented to the Trump administration recently, ahead of next week’s meeting between Netanyahu and Trump at the White House.

Both Netanyahu and Blue and White chief Benny Gantz have been invited to the White House for a meeting next Tuesday, though Gantz is reportedly debating whether to accept or decline the invitation.

Samaria Regional Council chief Yossi Dagan responded to the report, saying he “can’t believe” that Netanyahu would “violate all of his promises”, noting that Netanyahu had previously vowed to apply sovereignty to all Israeli towns in Judea and Samaria.

“It is impossible to believe that when there is the historic opportunity to apply sovereignty in Judea and Samaria the Prime Minister would oppose it. We’ve waited so many years for this historic moment, and we expect it to be taken full advantage of.”

Sources close to the prime minister have denied that he expressed opposition to the application of Israeli sovereignty to all Israeli towns in Judea and Samaria.

A report by Channel 13 claimed that the deal would allow Israel to apply sovereignty to more than 30% of the territory in Judea and Samaria, including all Israeli towns in the area. All but 15 of the towns would be annexed as part of a territorially continuous bloc, while the remaining 15 towns would be annexed as enclaves surrounded by Palestinian territory.

Israel would be asked to accept the establishment of a Palestinian State – if the Palestinian Authority agrees to disarm Hamas, demilitarize the Gaza Strip, recognize Israel as the Jewish state, and to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city.

Trump later called media reports on the details of the plan ‘speculation’.

Article source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/275059

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