Jerusalem, June 16 (IANS) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the map for annexing portions of the West Bank “isn’t ready”, suggesting that the controversial plan might be postponed.
On Monday, Netanyahu told a weekly meeting of his right-wing Likud party that he wishes to bring his plan for annexing the Jordan Valley, a part of the Israeli-occupied West Bank, for a government vote “soon”, reports Xinhua news agency.
However, he added that “the map isn’t ready yet”.
Netanyahu said the position of the Blue and White party, his centrist ally to the new power-sharing coalition, is not clear.
“We don’t know what about Blue and White, that’s a good question,” he said.
“We are in talks with the Americans, we want their agreement for the entire matter.”
During his election campaign in March, Benny Gantz, leader of the Blue and White party, said he will support annexing parts of the West Bank only if the move will be acceptable by the international community.
The remarks cast doubt on Netanyahu’s announced date for moving forward with the annexation, which was originally set by him to July 1.
On May 7, US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said that American President Donald Trump’s administration supports Israel’s application of sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and the settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.
The annexation is part of Trump’s Middle East peace plan.
The Palestinians – who claim all of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem – have rejected the idea.
Israel has occupied the territories since the 1967 Middle East war.
More than 600,000 Jews live in about 140 settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.