Netanyahu to present annexation bill as separate vote from Trump plan

A statement from the prime minister’s office said he is committed to negotiating on the basis of the Trump plan and will also move forward with applying sovereignty.

By Josh Plank, World Israel News

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu plans to separate the issue of applying sovereignty to parts of Judea and Samaria from the possible establishment of a Palestinian state under the Trump peace plan, Kan Reshet Bet reported on Wednesday.

According to the report, sovereignty will be the only issue presented to the Knesset for a vote, separate from other details of the Trump plan.

Since many on the right have expressed strong disagreement with the notion of creating a Palestinian state, Netanyahu is expected to avoid terms like “Palestinian state” when announcing his acceptance of the Trump plan as the basis for renewed negotiations with the Palestinian Authority.

The Prime Minister’s Office issued a statement saying, “The prime minister reiterates that he is committed to negotiating on the basis of the Trump plan, and at the same time will continue with the plan of applying sovereignty.”

The report comes a day after Netanyahu met with settlement leaders from the Yesha Council, a group of representatives from Judea and Samaria, on Tuesday. “We face a historic opportunity to apply sovereignty to areas of Judea and Samaria,” Netanyahu said, urging the leaders to support the move.

According to Yesha leaders, Netanyahu told them, “If we get sovereignty, we will have to give something in return.” They claim that “something” would be, at least in principle, an agreement to the establishment of a Palestinian state.

Yossi Dagan, head of the Samaria Regional Council, told Kan Reshet Bet on Wednesday, “The support of the American government isn’t worth the risk of having a terrorist state established, or the abandonment of tens of thousands of residents in isolated towns to life-threatening dangers.”

“This is a withdrawal map. It’s basically writing death certificates for 19 settlements,” he said.

In an interview with the weekly Makor Rishon last week, Netanyahu said that he never promised to agree to a Palestinian state, only that he was “prepared to conduct negotiations on the basis of the Trump plan.”

To the question, “Will the government decision on sovereignty include a statement on the matter of a Palestinian state?” Netanyahu said that the two “issues are separate.”