Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi said on Wednesday that the government’s plan to extend sovereignty to parts of Judea and Samaria was unlikely to be carried out as scheduled.
“It seems unlikely that anything will happen today [July 1],” he told Army Radio.
Ashkenazi’s statement echoes that of Regional Cooperation Minister Ofer Akunis, a confidant of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who said that Israeli officials are still working out final details with their American counterparts, but he expects move to take place later this month
“Coordination with the American administration is not something that can be dismissed,” he said.
Netanyahu had aimed to start the process by Wednesday, saying he wanted to begin annexing West Bank territory in line with US President Donald Trump’s Mideast plan. The plan, unveiled in January, envisions bringing some 30 percent of the territory under permanent Israeli control.
The Israeli Prime Minister met on Tuesday with U.S. Special Representative for International Negotiations Avi Berkowitz, U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, Knesset Speaker Yariv Levin and National Security Council head Meir Ben Shabbat to discuss Israel’s proposed sovereignty moves.
In a recorded address to the Christians United for Israel Virtual Summit 2020 on Sunday night, Netanyahu touted the application of Israeli law to areas of Judea and Samaria—part of the “Peace to Prosperity” plan unveiled by U.S. President Donald Trump in January—as a step that would “advance peace.”
In a front-page article in the Yedioth Ahronoth daily, one of Israel’s largest newspapers, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson wrote Wednesday that as a “passionate defender of Israel” he was particularly troubled by its intentions. He noted his long links to Israel, dating back to when volunteered on a kibbutz as an 18-year-old and his “many visits” since then.
“I profoundly hope that annexation does not go ahead. If it does, the UK will not recognize any changes to the 1967 lines, except those agreed between both parties,” he said.