Netanyahu and Trump. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a prerecorded speech for an event organized by an evangelical organization that he is “confident” that President Trump will honor his pledge to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Jewish settlements in the West Bank and the Jordan Valley "a couple of months from now."
Why it matters: According to the recent coalition deal between Netanyahu and the leader of the Blue and White party Benny Gantz, Netanyahu can bring "the understandings with the Trump administration" on annexing parts of the West Bank to a discussion in the Cabinet and to a vote either in the Cabinet or in the Knesset starting July 1.
The big picture: Netanyahu wants to move forward with annexation well before the U.S. elections in November, fearing President Trump might lose and the move will not be possible with Joe Biden in the White House.
- Gantz, who is opposed to annexation, hopes he will be able to prevent such a move from inside Netanyahu’s government.
- On Saturday, I reported that Jordan is lobbying foreign leaders to pressure the new Israeli government not to move forward with annexation of the Jordan Valley — both the settlements and other parts of the West Bank.
- The Palestinians are undertaking a similar lobbying effort, and the Arab League is expected to convene within days to discuss the matter.