Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says the U.S. seems to be stalling on plans to allow Israel to annex areas in the West Bank.
“It was clear from the start that the application of sovereignty would be done only with agreement from the United States. Otherwise, I would have already done it a while ago,” Netanyahu said during an interview with Israel’s Channel 20.
“I worked with (President Donald) Trump’s team on this plan for three years,” he said. “In my opinion, it is the only one that preserves Israel’s essential interests.”
Netanyahu had said the deadline to begin annexing parts of the West Bank was July 1. The date stems from President Trump’s Israeli-Palestinian peace plan, which says Israel may annex up to 30 percent of the West Bank.
But Netanyahu says the U.S. may not see the annexation as a priority as American deals with the COVID-19 pandemic, protests over policing tactics and an upcoming presidential election, CBN News reports.
“Trump is now busy with other things, and this [sovereignty] is not on the top of his mind,” Netanyahu said.
“I hope that in the near future we will be able to advance recognition of the application of sovereignty as well as other diplomatic issues of importance to Israel."
The Palestinian government, however, has said it does not agree with Trump’s proposed plan for annexation.
Meanwhile, Israel has continued to see its own protests with thousands reportedly demonstrating against Netanyahu in central Jerusalem over the weekend.
Demonstrators are calling for Netanyahu to resign as he faces corruption charges and a trial. Others also say he has mismanaged the country’s response to the pandemic.
Many say Israel reopened too quickly in the spring after shutting down because of the spread of coronavirus. Israel is now facing record-high cases and unemployment has hiked to more than 20 percent, according to the Associated Press.
Photo courtesy: Cole Keister/Unsplash
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.