Netanyahu: Annexation plan only on ‘temporary hold’

Netanyahu said there was “no change” to his goal of annexing areas in Judea and Samaria and the delay only amounted to a “temporary hold.”

By David Isaac, World Israel News

After a call with President Donald Trump congratulating him on the historic achievement of the establishment of a peace agreement between the State of Israel and the United Arab Emirates, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a televised statement to Israel announcing the agreement.

“Today we usher in a new era of peace between Israel and the Arab world,” Netanyahu said. “There is a good chance we will soon see more Arab countries joining this expanding circle of peace.”

The prime minister also said that in exchange for the agreement, he had agreed to put his plan to apply sovereignty in parts of Judea and Samaria and the Jordan Valley on ice in order to move the agreement on ties with the UAE forward.

However, he also said there was “no change” to his goal of extending sovereignty over the areas in question and the delay only amounted to a “temporary hold.”

There is no question that Netanyahu’s base would prefer sovereignty over relations with the UAE.

Channel 11’s Carmel Dangor, reporter for the territories, said people residing in the settlements, many of them Likud supporters, has a sharp negative reaction to his announcement that sovereignty would be delayed and didn’t appear to buy his promise that it was only temporary.

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“They’re very, very disappointed in Netanyahu. They speak of him with words they haven’t said in a long time – perhaps ever. They say ‘Netanyahu abandoned us, sold us out, defrauded us, betrayed his voting public and cut off the branch on which he sits,'” she said.

“‘Perhaps we will try to hurt him in the coming elections,'” she said, summarizing their comments.

The Yemina party, which is to the right of the Likud and has been gaining in the polls at its expense, immediately blasted Netanyahu’s decision to delay sovereignty.

Yemina leader Naftali Bennett, while congratulating UAE’s Sheikh Mohammed bin Zaid on his leadership, slammed Netanyahu.

“it is unfortunate that Netanyahu missed a once-in-a-century opportunity to apply Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley, Ma’ale Adumim, Beit El and the rest of the Israeli settlements,” Bennett said.

“It is tragic that Netanyahu did not seize the moment, and did not muster the courage to apply sovereignty to even an inch of the Land of Israel, but sovereignty over the territories of our homeland will still come from somewhere else,” Bennett declared.

Ayelet Shaked, No. 2 in Yemina, said “Today, the State of Israel lost an amazing opportunity to apply sovereignty. The Prime Minister should have displayed leadership and instead written a far more significant achievement into the history books, one far more important for the State of Israel and the Land of Israel. But we will yet reach that long-awaited day when instead of selling us illusions, we apply sovereignty.”