The region is viewed as relatively uncontroversial in Israeli public opinion and, it is hoped, among Trump administration officials.
By World Israel News Staff
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is seeking a green light from the White House before moving to impose Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley, a region captured from Jordan in the 1967 war, according to Israeli public broadcaster Kan, citing senior officials in the prime minister’s Likud party as its sources.
Launching the Likud’s campaign on Tuesday ahead of the March 2 Knesset election, Netanyahu renewed a vow to annex Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria.
At the top of his list are the Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea area, regions viewed as relatively uncontroversial in Israeli public opinion and, it is hoped, among Trump administration officials.
So far, the U.S. has not publicly commented on Israel’s stated intentions to annex the region.
The office of Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas said in a statement that the calls to annex such areas “undermine the foundations of the peace process.”
White House national security adviser Robert O’Brien said recently that President Donald Trump might make public his Israeli-Palestinian peace plan before the Israeli election in March.
“I don’t think it necessarily depends on the elections. They will have had three elections in a row, we’ll have to see,” O’Brien told Axios.
Netanyahu’s main political challenger, Blue and White leader MK Benny Gantz, has voiced support for annexing the Jordan Valley region, but says that he would want it “coordinated with the international community.”
Gantz has accused Netanyahu of using the pledge as an electioneering ploy. He argues that the prime minister could have annexed the region already if he really meant it.
However, according to the Kan report, the prime minister is trying first to coordinate the move with U.S. officials.
Presidential senior adviser Jared Kushner is reportedly raising the issue of the Trump peace plan in talks with leaders from the Middle East and Europe during the current World Economic Forum in Davos.
After arriving in Jerusalem on Wednesday to participate in the Fifth World Holocaust Forum, Kushner was also “likely to meet” with Netanyahu and Gantz “and discuss the peace plan,” according to Axios.