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Israel’s annexation plan plots a new course for the conflict

19 28 18

As expected, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu postponed Israel’s annexation plan, for one day apparently, on the pretext of finishing his consultations with an American delegation. His decision was not made known for certain to his Foreign Minister, retired General Gabi Ashkenazi, who told Israel’s Army Radio: “It seems unlikely to me that this will happen today [1 July]. I reckon there will be nothing today, regarding [the extension of Israeli] sovereignty.”

Although Ashkenazi is a minister in a government led by Netanyahu, he spoke about the date of the planned annexation as a member of the Blue and White Party, a coalition partner led by another former general, Defence Minister Benny Gantz. While Ashkenazi did not provide a clear explanation for the postponement of the annexation, Gantz did not hesitate, starting with the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. He pointed out that 1 July was neither sacred nor set in stone as the official annexation date, because the unity government is divided with several heads.

The postponement was no great surprise or the product of a particular variable. It was imposed by the mounting pressure and concern within Israel and Washington, which pressed for the formation of the unity government. The US is also afraid of an outbreak of protests in the occupied Palestinian territories and, indeed, across the region, as a result of the........

© Middle East Monitor