By: Aryeh Savir
US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman stated that the US is against any Israeli unilateral annexation of Judea and Samaria as part of the Deal of the Century peace plan, backtracking from his initial support of such a move.
Friedman stated Sunday that President Donald Trump’s “Vision for Peace is the product of more than three years of close consultations” between Trump, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and their senior staff.
“As we have stated, the application of Israeli law to the territory which the Plan provides to be part of Israel is subject to the completion a mapping process by a joint Israeli-American committee,” a task the sides reportedly commenced.
However, he cautioned that “any unilateral action in advance of the completion of the committee process endangers the Plan and American recognition.”
Friedman initially stated after the unveiling of Deal of the Century plan that Israel was cleared to move forward with at least a partial annexation of areas in Judea and Samaria, even before any other phases of the peace plan commenced.
However, Friedman essentially adopted the position put forward by Trump’s senior aid and son-in-law Jared Kushner who said that Israel could not annex any areas before the March elections in Israel and the forming of a government.
Netanyahu on Saturday night state that Israel has begun mapping parts of the areas it intends to annex, apparently adopting the US’ line of action and stepping away from a pledge to immediately apply Israeli sovereignty over areas in Judea and Samaria after the publication of the Deal of the Century.
“We’re already in the process of mapping the territory that according to the Trump plan will be part of the State of Israel,” he stated.
Right-wing factions on Sunday continued to call on Netanyahu to move forward with the annexation unilaterally, claiming the time was now or never.