Judea Samaria council fights to change ‘problematic’ Trump map

“The question is which map will come to a decision by the government or the Knesset,” said Yesha Council head Yigal Dilmoni.

By Josh Plank, World Israel News

Members of the Yesha Council are meeting with as many Knesset members and ministers as possible, urging them to apply sovereignty in Judea and Samaria but not according to the terms of the Trump peace plan, the Jerusalem Post reports.

The intensified campaign by the Yesha Council, an umbrella organization made up of local authorities in Judea and Samaria, comes out of a concern that their voices are not being heard ahead of the July 1 start date for the annexation process.

Agreed upon in a meeting last week, the council’s objections to the Trump plan centered around three main areas of concern: The establishment of a Palestinian state, any kind of settlement freeze or building restrictions, and any map that would isolate communities or turn them into remote enclaves that cannot develop and grow.

Although an initial map was already published with the Trump plan in January, a joint Israeli-American mapping team is currently working on the exact details of the proposed annexation area. The Trump map provides for the annexation of 30 percent of Judea and Samaria.

The Yesha Council says it has drawn up three alternative maps which correct some of the problems with the Trump map. These maps provide for the annexation of 32.5, 35, or 38.5 percent of Judea and Samaria.

“The question is which map will come to a decision by the government or the Knesset. From what is known to us, this will be the map that was displayed in the White House [in January], perhaps with some minor changes,” said Yesha Council head Yigal Dilmoni.

“We are asking for changes that will enable quality of life in the settlement,” he said.

Dilmoni said the council asked the Prime Minister’s Office if they could be part of the mapping process. Although the request was denied, the Prime Minister’s Office said that it would accept materials from Yesha with regard to the plan.

After submitting alternative maps, Dilmoni says they were told that there would be no changes to the map, and someone close to the mapping process told him the U.S. would “not budge by one millimeter.”

Knesset Speaker Yariv Levin, a member of the mapping committee, denied Dilmoni’s claims. “The Americans have not conveyed any stance on the matter,” he said.

Member of Knesset Ayelet Shaked said that the Yamina party’s request to be part of the mapping process was also denied by Netanyahu. “Even Yesha he rejected. It appears that the map is the American map without any changes by settlement representatives,” she said.