Israeli FM Ashkenazi says annexation unlikely on Netanyahu’s July 1 target date – Israel News

Israel’s foreign minister said an announcement on the proposed annexation of occupied West Bank land was unlikely on Wednesday, the start-date set by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition government for discussing such a move.

“It seems unlikely to me that this will happen today,” Gabi Ashkenazi, a member of the centrist Kahol Lavan party partnered up with Netanyahu’s conservative Likud, told Israel’s Army Radio.

15דלגו 15 שניות קדימהלחצו כדי לנגן 15דלגו 15 שניות אחורה

1xלחצו כדי לשנות את מהירות הניגון מ-1 ל-1


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“I reckon there will be nothing today, regarding (the extention of Israeli) sovereignty.”

In a sign of rifts within the coalition over the timing of any unilateral annexation move, which has been fiercely opposed by the Palestinians and some world powers, Ashkenazi referred further questions on the matter by the interviewer to Netanyahu.

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Netanyahu and Gantz attend the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem June 7, 2020.Credit: POOL New/ REUTERS

The premier, after meeting U.S. envoys on Tuesday to discuss annexation within the framework of President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace plan, said such talks would continue for several days – another playing-down of the July 1 start-date.

Netanyahu downplayed the role of his coalition members in the decision-making process surrounding annexation on Monday, saying that the issue of annexation is not up to Kahol Lavan.

Netanyahu’s comments at a Likud party meeting came shortly after Alternate Prime Minister and Defense Minister Benny Gantz said that anything unrelated to the coronavirus can wait, hours after Gantz told U.S. President Donald Trump’s envoys that “July 1 is not a sacred date.”

“We are in contact with the American team here in Israel,” Netanyahu said at a Likud meeting. “We are doing so discreetly. The issue is not up to (Gantz’s party) Kahol Lavan. They are not a factor either way.”