US Ambassador Friedman and Israeli Leaders Fail to Reach Annexation Agreement

US Ambassador Friedman and Israeli Leaders Fail to Reach Annexation Agreement

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (left) with the new United States Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, during the ceremony celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Israeli occupation of Jerusalem, May 21, 2017. (Credit: Alex Kolomoisky / Pool)

The US Ambassador to Israel, David M Friedman, and Israeli leaders failed to reach an agreement on the annexation plan at a meeting this week, reported the Middle East Monitor (MEMO).

Friedman is known to support illegal Jewish settlements built on Palestinian land. He has said in the past that Israel has the “right” to annex the settlement blocs, and “does not have to wait” to do so.

According to Channel 13 TV, the meeting was attended by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Benny Gantz, Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi, and Knesset Speaker Yariv Levin as well as Friedman.

The Likud’s Netanyahu and Levin apparently presented several ideas to nominal centrists Gantz and Ashkenazi covering the scope of the annexation plan, with or without the Jordan Valley, the settlement blocs only and other configurations. However, Netanyahu was unspecific about his goals and presented no maps.

Although the Israeli leader was pushing for the annexation of as much Palestinian land as possible, Gantz and Ashkenazi have “no appetite for dramatic moves,” especially as the US has started to tone down its support for the plan.

Early on Sunday, it was reported that Friedman intended to reach an agreement on annexation acceptable to both sides. He said that he had met with Ashkenazi on Thursday for the same purpose.

The meeting was set to reconvene on Monday to continue the discussion.

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