Delay Appears Likely In Israel's Plans To Annex Parts Of West Bank


His Israeli counterpart, Benjamin Netanyahu, set Wednesday as a possible start date for the process of applying Israeli sovereignty to Jewish settlements and the Jordan Valley.

In an editorial in Israel's largest-selling newspaper on Wednesday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson called for any annexation plans to be scrapped.

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh, speaking at a June 9 briefing with reporters, called annexation "an issue in which we can not be silent".

There are four primary reasons why the plan to apply Israeli law over parts of the West Bank hasn't come together the way Netanyahu had hoped.

However, the plan has attracted criticism from the global community, which sees the settlements as illegal.

But Palestinians have rejected the plan saying the pockets of territory they'd have left would fall short of what's needed for a viable independent state.

In addition, the United Nations secretary-general, the European Union and key Arab countries have all said Israeli annexation would violate global law and undermine the goal of establishing a viable independent Palestinian state alongside Israel.

Johnson, who described himself in the opinion piece as a "passionate defender of Israel", said the United Kingdom would not recognise any changes to the pre-1967 borders in the West Bank that were not agreed to by both Israelis and Palestinians.

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The plan has also attracted opposition from some settler leaders and pro-settler politicians who have voiced concern that annexation could lead to the creation of a Palestinian state, which they oppose.

"Annexation is an existential threat for our future", he said.

The worldwide criticism has so far not deterred Mr Netanyahu.

"I am fearful that these proposals will fail in their objective of securing Israel's borders and will be contrary to Israel's own long-term interests". In return, it proposes "compensating" the Palestinians with territory that the Trump proposal had allocated to Israel. Netanyahu, a close ally of Trump, has said Israel must take advantage of what he calls a "historic opportunity", and is eager to move forward before the November U.S. presidential election.

However campaigners have pointed out that a ban on imports from Israel's illegal settlements - which have deprived Palestinians of huge portions of the land, farmland and curtailed their freedom of movement - is simply upholding global law.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said the plan "belongs to the dustbin of history".

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and alternate Prime Minister and Defence Minister Benny Gantz attend the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, June 7, 2020.