Netanyahu: We Have ‘Historic Opportunity’ to Annex West Bank in July

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slammed Thursday Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for transferring funds to Hamas during a press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in which the two displayed unity, despite gaping disagreements.

TEL AVIV — Israel has a “historic opportunity” to annex Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Israel must jump at the opportunity come July, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday.

“For the first time since 1948, there is a historic opportunity to apply sovereignty in an agreed-upon fashion, as a diplomatic, sovereign act of the State of Israel in Judea and Samaria,” Netanyahu told a group of Likud lawmakers at a faction meeting, using the biblical term for the West Bank.

“This is an opportunity that should not be missed.”

He added that under no circumstances was he willing to change the intended date set for July.

The terms of the coalition deal between Netanyahu and Blue and White head Benny Gantz stipulate that annexation could be brought to a vote in the Knesset as early as July 1.

Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman, who is a staunch supporter of the Trump administration’s peace plan, has also pressured Netanyahu to go ahead with the annexation.

“If we don’t do it now, it won’t happen,” he said.

Trump’s plan would also see a demilitarized Palestinian state established on most of the West Bank with parts of eastern Jerusalem that are outside the Israeli security fence as its capital.

The Palestinians would also receive an economic package to the tune of $50 billion if they agreed to the terms of the deal which include stopping incitement to terror and ending their so-called “pay-for-slay” scheme paying financial stipends to convicted terrorists and their families.


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