TEL AVIV – Now that President Donald Trump’s meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is over, Israeli lawmakers are planning to reintroduce an annexation bill extending Israeli sovereignty to the Jerusalem-area settlement of Ma’ale Adumim.
The legislation, which was postponed at Washington’s request until after the two leaders met in February, will be proposed by Likud MK Yoav Kish and Jewish Home MK Bezalel Smotrich at the Ministerial Committee for Legislation on Sunday.
Netanyahu on Monday reportedly said at his party’s faction meeting that he was working with the White House to establish a “mechanism” for coordinating settlement construction, but added that “things are not as simple as you think they are.”
According to Haaretz, Netanyahu told Likud MKs that Trump’s presidency was a “historic opportunity, [but] we should know what the limits of this opportunity are.”
Following December’s UN Security Council resolution against Israeli settlements, Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett doubled down on his call to annex large swaths of the West Bank.
Trump told Netanyahu during a joint press briefing that he’d like to see the prime minister “hold back on settlements for a little bit.”
Both leaders did not overtly endorse the notion of a two-state solution, with Trump saying only that “I’m looking at a two-state [solution] and one-state [solution] and I like the one that both parties like.”
Many MKs have called on the prime minister to give up on the idea of the two-state solution. Likud MK Miki Zohar reportedly said at Monday’s faction meeting that the Palestinians are not interested in a state and only seek economic prosperity.
While in Washington, Netanyahu suggested he was not on board with the idea of annexing the West Bank, saying, “I don’t want to annex close to 2.5 millions Palestinians to Israel; I do not want them to be our subjects.”