Blue and White officials: We can’t stop annexation

Senior members of coalition government say they have no power to block Israeli annexation of settlements and Jordan Valley: “If Netanyahu decides he’s going for it – it’s in his hands.”

By Paul Shindman, World Israel News

Senior members of the Blue and White party in the national unity government said they are powerless to block a pending move by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to apply Israeli sovereignty to settlements in Judea, Samaria and the Jordan Valley, Kan Radio reported on Sunday.

“We cannot stop or prevent the application of sovereignty. If Netanyahu decides he will go for it, it is in his hands,” the unnamed officials said.

Their remarks come on the back of recent statements by Blue and White members who expressed opposition to the annexation, including Welfare Minister Itzik Shmuli, Minister Michael Biton and others.

Blue and White officials say that talking about applying sovereignty is one matter, but preventing the move is another story. The same officials are hoping that a concerted move can be reached that will be broadly supported, but they made it clear in the end that it all depends on Netanyahu.

Blue and White leader, Defense Minister Benny Gantz, is on record as supporting the annexation of the Jordan Valley.

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However, there is opposition to the move both from European countries and some American leaders who say that any unilateral Israeli move threatens future possibilities of peace with the Palestinians.

The annexation is also opposed by some members of the Yesha Settlers Council who are urging Netanyahu to immediately apply sovereignty in Judea and Samaria but not according to the terms of the Trump peace plan. They object to the annexation being tied to acceptance of American demands for a future Palestinian state.

Blue and White minister Assaf Zamir said last week that he “opposes sovereignty, which he says is a unilateral move that harms Israel’s interest in continuing to exist as a Jewish and democratic state,” adding it was easier to fight against annexation from within the government than from the opposition.

Last Thursday, the U.S. Embassy in Israel issued a warning to American citizens planning to travel to Judea and Samaria regarding violent incidents that could occur in the area without warning, urging them to “to maintain a high level of vigilance and to take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness.”