Netanyahu appears determined to bring sovereignty forward

Netanyahu can bring a proposal to the new government anytime after July 1 on the matter of sovereignty.

By World Israel News Staff and AP

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appears determined to carry out his pledge to begin applying sovereignty to parts of Judea and Samaria and the Jordan Valley, possibly as soon as Wednesday.

His vision of redrawing the map of the Holy Land, in line with President Donald Trump’s Mideast plan, has been welcomed by Israel’s religious and nationalist right-wing. Over half of Israelis who are Jewish support the move, according to polls.

The Palestinian Authority and the international community condemn the move. But with opponents offering little more than condemnations, there seems little to prevent Netanyahu from embarking on the plan.

When Blue and White Chairman Benny Gantz, serving as defense minister in the unity government, said that dealing with the coronavirus comes first and other matters can wait, Netanyahu dismissed the notion on Monday telling Likud members that he was working “discretely” with the Americans.

The issue does not depend on Blue and White,” he said.

Netanyahu inserted into the unity government agreement a clause allowing him to bring a proposal to the new government anytime after July 1 on the matter of sovereignty. He appears eager to move forward before the November presidential election, possibly with a limited move billed as a first stage, especially with Trump’s re-election prospects in question.

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Israel’s right-wing has long favored extending sovereignty over all of Judea and Samaria, not just parts (the plan calls for 30 percent). They note that the the territory is vital for the country’s security and an inseparable part of the biblical Land of Israel.

They also point out what happened when Israel exited the Gaza Strip in 2005, evicting 8,000 Jews from their homes. The event paved the way for the rise of a Hamas terrorist enclave.

Most of the world has adopted the Arab narrative concerning  Judea and Samaria, which it terms the West Bank, captured by Israel from Jordan in the 1967 Six Day War. It considers it to be occupied territory, and Israel’s dozens of settlements, now home to nearly 500,000 Jewish Israelis, as illegal.

However, the Trump administration has dismissed the claims of illegality. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said “it was very clear” that Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria were not illegal according to international law, in November 2019.

Trump in other ways has challenged the world’s accepted wisdom. While many presidents have promised to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, Trump actually did so. He also recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

He has also cut funds to the Palestinian Authority due to its incitement against Jews and continued support of terror as it pays handsome stipends to those who carry out attacks which target men, women and children indiscriminately.