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Netanyahu: West Bank annexation plans 'not off the table', but currently 'in Washington' Open in fullscreen

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Netanyahu: West Bank annexation plans 'not off the table', but currently 'in Washington'

While annexation has been stalled, Israel has continued to face criticism over its plans [Getty]

Date of publication: 4 August, 2020

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A month has passed since Netanyahu's planned annexation of the West Bank.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday told his Likud Party that Israel's planned annexation of swathes of the West Bank is "not off the table".

Despite setting 1 July as the date Israel would begin formally taking over Palestinian areas seized in 1967, there have been no formal moves towards the pledged annexation.

During this week's Likud faction meeting, Netanyahu stated that the ball is currently in Washington's court.

"The issue of applying sovereignty is in Washington. It’s not off the table, the option still exists," he said, according to The Times of Israel.

Last month, Israel's Army Radio reported Knesset Speaker and Likud member Yariv Levin stated in private conversations that Washington is not giving any attention to Israel's annexation plans.

Levin, who sits on the US-Israeli mapping committee tasked with figuring out the exact parameters for annexation, has reportedly said Netanyahu will not move forward without coordinating with the Trump administration.

According to The Times of Israel, settler leaders have responded to the Army Radio report with anger at the prospect of Israeli annexation hinging on US approval.

In addition to greenlighting Israeli annexation, President Donald Trump's plan lays out groundwork for an independent Palestinian state, although it would be demilitarised and its capital would not be inside the contested holy city of Jerusalem.

The Palestinians have rejected the plan.

While annexation moves have been stalled, Israel has continued to face growing criticism over its plans from world leaders.

The month of July has seen Israel battling a surge in Covid-19 cases, as Netanyahu faces ongoing and swelling protests calling for his resignation.

The US, on its end, has also been distracted with record-high coronavirus cases, widespread protests and the upcoming presidential elections in November.

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