Palestinian Authority delighted at settlement opposition to annexation

One senior PA official said settlement leaders are doing the job for them.

By David Isaac, World Israel News

Officials in the Palestinian Authority along with Jordanian officials are pleased about the opposition of some settlement leaders to Israel’s annexation plans, Israel Hayom reports on Tuesday.

They’ve “expressed great satisfaction” with the rift within the Israeli right-wing over the issue. “The opposition of the settlers to the plan does the work for us,” one senior PA official told the paper.

The Jordanians say that right-wing voices raised in protest against the Trump Mideast plan has caused consternation within the Trump administration. “There’s an impression that the Americans are starting to lose their patience given the opposition rising from the Right to Netanyahu.”

A report Sunday suggests the Jordanians are correct. Likud officials are calling the rejectionist settlement leaders “irresponsible” and even “crazy.”

They noted the effect right-wing reservations are having on the U.S. administration. Senior Likud officials say the Trump administration has asked for clarifications in the wake of this opposition.

“The Americans are telling us something along these lines: ‘The entire Arab world is against the deal of the century, all the Europeans also oppose it, the American and Israeli Left oppose it. And now even the [Israeli] Right is against it — so why implement this plan at all? What can we answer in response?” said a Likud official.

Read  'Murderous consequences' - EU condemns terror incitement in Palestinian textbooks

American impatience may have given Jordan’s King Abdullah II the encouragement he needed to refuse to take Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s call and reject a meeting with Defense Minister Benny Gantz, as was reported by the Palestinian Authority’s Maan news agency on Monday. Jordan relies heavily on U.S. financial and other support.

Settlement leaders say they are for annexation, but against the creation of a Palestinian state. Trump’s plan sets aside some 70 percent of Judea and Samaria for such a state.

Netanyahu has argued that Israel faces a “historic opportunity” to apply sovereignty to key areas. The prime minister has argued to his right-wing opposition that this is the first time the U.S. isn’t demanding something of Israel first, unlike previous plans. In exchange for gaining territory for Israel, he says he has only agreed to negotiate with the Palestinians, not give them a state.

Not all settlement leaders oppose the plan. Leaders of most of the major Israeli population centers in Judea and Samaria say they gave Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu their support in pushing for Israel to annex their communities.