Trump to make ‘big announcement’ on Israeli sovereignty

One of Trump’s top advisers tells reporters that the president will make an announcement, expected to be related to Israel’s planned extension of sovereignty in Judea and Samaria.

By Paul Shindman, World Israel News

One of President Donald Trump’s close advisors said the president will be making a “big announcement” regarding his Middle East peace plan and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s intention of applying Israeli sovereignty to settlements in Judea and Samaria.

Asked about the situation in Israel regarding the annexation, Kellyanne Conway answered by first pointing out how Netanyahu described Trump as “the best friend to Israel” and reiterated Trump’s decision to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

Trump “also has tried to bring peace to the Middle East in many different ways,” Conway told reporters in a video posted by the Washington news website The Hill.

“There are conversations being had. Obviously the president will have an announcement. He’s talked about this in the past and I’ll leave it to him to give you a big announcement,” Conway said.

Trump was expected to meet with top advisors this week to stake out Washington’s position on Israel’s current plan to extend sovereignty over Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.

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Netanyahu has set July 1 as the deadline to move forward with the sovereignty plan, but he is facing resistance within the government from members of the Blue and White party, including Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi, in addition to potential challenges from allies in the the U.S., such as Trump.

The wildcard with regard to whether the U.S. will support Israel’s sovereignty plan remains the extent to which it hues to the Trump Mideast peace plan, an effort that was spearheaded by Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner and former envoy Jason Greenblatt, which was years in the making. To develop the Trump plan, Kushner and Greenblatt sought out significant input from key stakeholders in the Arab world.

Central features of the plan include the creation of an independent Palestinian state, around $50 billion in economic incentives for the Palestinians, and disarming Palestinian terror groups such as Hamas.

Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and other Republicans urged Trump to give Israel the green light for annexation, The Hill reported.

Cruz and fellow senators Tom Cotton, Kevin Cramer, Thom Tillis, Cindy Hyde-Smith, John Barrasso and Joni Ernst sent a letter to Trump this week supporting his peace plan and asking the president to give administration officials resources to help Israel implement the sovereignty plan.

In the letter, the senators told Trump they “commit to providing your administration with the resources it requires for such implementation.”

They said that while it is the “sovereign decision of our Israeli allies” whether they move forward on annexation, “of course their decision takes place against the backdrop of the [Trump] Vision for Peace and its assurances of American recognition.”