We exchanged views on the current state of the Middle East Peace Process and its regional implications. We concur that any annexation of Palestinian territories occupied in 1967 would be a violation of international law and imperil the foundations of the peace process. We would not recognize any changes to the 1967 borders that are not agreed by both parties in the conflict.
Jordan, Egypt, Germany and France came out with a joint statement Tuesday warning Israel against applying its laws to a number of West Bank areas.
The statement was released by the German Foreign Ministry after a video conference held by the top diplomats from the four countries.
Joe Biden is the main reason Netanyahu is not annexing.
There are few politicians who have a keener understanding of polls than Netanyahu. He has several pollsters on his official and unofficial payroll, and keeps in touch with others. His polling brain-trust is heavily American and though they have misled at least once in the past, when he thought that Mitt Romney had a chance of denying Barack Obama a second term in 2012. He is fully aware now that Trump’s chances of winning in November are vanishing.
Netanyahu made the comments shortly after wrapping up talks with White House envoy Avi Berkowitz and the U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman. The sides have been holding talks for several months on finalizing a map spelling out which areas of the West Bank will be annexed by Israel.
„I spoke about the question of sovereignty, which we are working on these days and we will continue to work on in the coming days,“ Netanyahu said.
Why it matters: Israeli officials say Netanyahu thinks President Trump is politically vulnerable four months before the U.S. election and that he could lose to presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. He thinks Trump needs the evangelical base to go to vote in order to have a chance at winning.
The idea of Israeli sovereignty over 30% of the West Bank, including all of the settlements, is already incorporated into Trump’s peace plan to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
However, Israel can do so only with approval from the US.
The Palestinian Authority dispatched a letter on Monday addressed to the Quartet on the Middle East stating that it’s prepared to renew negotiations with Israel and agree to „minor territorial exchanges,“ according to reports by Ynet News on Monday night.
The Quartet on the Middle East, a foursome consisting of the United Nations, the US, Russia and the European Union involved in mediating the Israeli–Palestinian peace process.
„We are in contact with the American team here in Israel,“ Netanyahu said at a Likud meeting. „We are doing so discretely. The issue is not up to [Gantz’s party] Kahol Lavan. They are not a factor either way.“
Earlier on Monday, Gantz met with Trump’s special envoy Avi Berkowitz and U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman to discuss the Trump administration’s peace plan.
A U.N. rights investigator urged the European Union on Friday to consider measures to prevent or punish any Israeli annexation of parts of the occupied West Bank, a few days after over 1,000 European lawmakers made a similar call.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has promised to begin process as soon as July 1, though some of his U.S. backers have urged caution
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, AIPAC, reportedly told U.S. lawmakers last week they’re “free to criticize Israel’s looming annexation plans — just as long as the criticism stops there.”
Thousands of Palestinians rallied Monday against Israel’s planned annexation of areas of the West Bank in a mass protest organized by the Fatah political party.
In the protest were Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh, Nickolay Mladenov, the United Nations’s Middle East envoy, Arab and other foreign diplomats, including the ambassadors of the European Union, China, Russia and Jordan.