Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a statement overlooking the Israeli settlement of Har Homa in East Jerusalem, Feb. 20, 2020. Photo by Debbie Hill/Pool via REUTERS.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has threatened that settlement expansion would not be frozen, despite a clause in the US ‘peace plan’ requiring Israel to do so, reported the New Arab news site.
Netanyahu’s remarks were made in a meeting with 11 settlement leaders who did not object to US President Donald Trump’s widely condemned ‘Deal of the Century’ plan, unveiled early this year, according to Israeli newspaper Haaretz.
The plan also envisions the creation of a ‘Palestinian state’ – divided into several small enclaves – with severe limitations on its sovereignty and Israeli security control.
The premier said that although the US-proposed plan includes forming an independent Palestinian state, he “does not call [the entity] a state”.
Netanyahu said Israel was still waiting for a green light to annex parts of the West Bank, but would possibly annex less territory than planned, said Haaretz citing a confidential source who attended the meeting.
The Israeli leader made similar remarks in a meeting with settler leaders last week, where he secretly assured them of plans to annex the occupied West Bank without conditions set in the US peace plan.
On June 1, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu renewed his pledge to annex part of the occupied Palestinian West Bank in July.
Palestinians have expressed outrage, appealing to the international community to block the Israeli step, which, if implemented, would be considered the final nail in the two-state solution’s coffin.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas announced on May 19 that the PA is canceling all agreements with Israel and the US, as a direct response to Israel’s annexation plans.