Netanyahu moves to annex all Jewish settlements, Trump approves ‘immediate recognition’

Trump said at his peace plan unveiling, “We will form a joint committee with Israel to convert the conceptual map into a more detailed and calibrated rendering so that recognition can be immediately achieved.”

By World Israel News Staff and AP

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s spokesman announced that the Israeli leader will ask his Cabinet on Sunday to approve his plan to annex parts of Judea and Samaria.

Jonathan Urich made the announcement on Twitter late Tuesday, shortly after Netanyahu joined President Donald Trump for the unveiling of a new U.S. peace plan.

The plan calls for leaving the strategic Jordan Valley and all Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria under Israeli control.

During the plan’s release at the White House, Netanyahu committed to “apply [Israel’s] laws to the Jordan Valley and all settlements in Judea and Samaria,” indicating a declaration of Israeli sovereignty in this region could be immediate and not contingent on conclusion of a peace deal.

At the release, Trump referred to “territorial compromises,” commenting, “We will form a joint committee with Israel to convert the conceptual map into a more detailed and calibrated rendering so that recognition can be immediately achieved.”

Shortly after that event, Netanyahu’s spokesman made the announcement made about the prime minister proposing annexation this Sunday at the weekly cabinet meeting.

Netanyahu hailed Trump’s plan as a “vision for peace.”

Trump’s plan calls for the creation of a State of Palestine while recognizing Israeli sovereignty over major settlement blocs in Judea and Samaria, a position the Palestinians have rejected in the past.

Trump called his plan a “win-win” for both Israel and the Palestinians.

Trump acknowledged that he has done a lot for Israel, but he said he wanted the deal to be a “great deal for the Palestinians.” He said his vision gives the Palestinians the time needed to rise up and meet the challenges of statehood.

“Mr. President, because of this historic recognition and because I believe your peace plan strikes the right balance where other plans have failed,” Netanyahu said. “I’ve agreed to negotiate peace with the Palestinians on the basis of your peace plan. It’s a great plan for Israel. It’s a great plan for peace.”

Security responsibility for the Jordan Valley would remain in Israel’s hands for the foreseeable future but could be scaled back as the nascent Palestinian state builds its capacity, under the terms of the plan, which says that statehood will be contingent on the Palestinians meeting international governance criteria.

U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity ahead of the plan’s release, said they expected negative responses from the Palestinians, as well as Turkey and Iran, but were hopeful that Jordan and Egypt, the only two Arab nations to have peace treaties with Israel, would not reject it outright. The officials said they expected Gulf Arab states like Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and others to cautiously welcome the plan.

Arab League chief, Ahmed Abuel-Gheit said the Palestinian reaction would define the Arab response to Trump’s peace plan. He spoke after meeting with Palestinian offices Jibril Rajoub at the Arab League headquarters in Cairo.

The reaction of Jordan, which would retain its responsibilities over Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa Mosque under the plan, will be particularly significant, according to the officials, who said Kushner and others were reaching out to Arab leaders ahead of the rollout.