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Israel's US envoy urges quick West Bank annexation in case of Biden win

Ron Dermer has reportedly been lobbying Republican lawmakers and White House officials [Getty]

Date of publication: 19 May, 2020

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Ron Dermer has reportedly expressed concern that Israel's annexation plan will not go as planned if Joe Biden becomes US president.
Israel's ambassador to Washington is urging American lawmakers and government officials to act with urgency on Israel's planned annexation of areas of the West Bank, according to Israeli media.
According to a Channel 13 report on Monday, Ambassador Ron Dermer has told US officials that the allies "need to move ahead with annexation now because we don't know what could be the outcome of the Presidential elections in November.”
“Joe Biden might win,” Channel 13 quoted Dermer as saying, adding that “there is a narrow window, and we should act now.”

Biden, who is set to challenge US President Donald Trump for the presidency in November, is reportedly opposed to the annexation plan.

Trump administration officials who spoke to The Jerusalem Post have confirmed that Dermer expressed his will to see the plan executed swiftly, however denied that his remarks were linked to the upcoming US presidential elections.

“He said that it should be done, and the quicker, the better,” an official was quoted as saying. “He did not necessarily mention any connection to the upcoming elections,” the official added.

Washington has pledged to support Israel's annexation plan as part of its "Deal of the Century" peace proposal unveiled earlier this year. The plan backs Israel's annexation of most Israeli settlements and the Jordan Valley with few caveats, such as entering peace negotiations with the Palestinians

The vast majority of the international community considers Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank to be illegal under international law, and as such stands against the proposed annexation of the settlements and other coveted areas of the West Bank, such as the fertile Jordan Valley.

The European Union's foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on Friday that the bloc would use "all our diplomatic capacities" to try to dissuade Israel from going ahead with the move, while analysts have said annexation could prompt a break-down in the 1994 peace treaty signed between Israel and its neighbour Jordan.

According to the Netanyahu-Gantz pact, Israel's government can begin moves to implement the Trump administration's peace plan from July 1.

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