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Trump and Netanyahu at the White House. Photo: Getty

The implementation of President Trump's Middle East peace plan is one of the main stumbling blocks in negotiations for an emergency government between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his political rival, Benny Gantz.

Why it matters: The government would be tasked primarily with handling the coronavirus crisis. In negotiations, though, Netanyahu has raised his intention to annex areas Trump's plan envisions as part of Israel. Gantz is opposed to unilateral annexations, his aides tell me.

Between the lines: While Gantz publicly supported the Trump plan, he would prefer to first try to relaunch peace talks with the Palestinians, who bitterly oppose Trump's plan.

  • Gantz is also concerned the deal could jeopardize Israel's peace deal with Jordan, which also opposes annexations.
  • He has demanded that the emergency government maintain the status quo for at least six months, after which they can revisit the issue and try to find a path forward.

What to watch: This issue is unlikely to prevent a deal between Netanyahu and Gantz, but it could lead to a coalition crisis down the road.

  • Netanyahu envisions annexation of the Jordan Valley and West Bank settlements as his main legacy after more than a decade as prime minister.

Where things stand: Trump called Netanyahu on Thursday to congratulate him on the impending formation of his new government. Trump has yet to call Gantz, who under the deal will replace Netanyahu as prime minister in 18 months.

  • It is unclear how closely the Trump administration will engage on the annexation issue, particularly in an election year and while it is dealing with a coronavirus crisis of its own.

Go deeper

UN Security Council meeting on Israel-Gaza as fighting enters 7th day

Smoke billows from a fire following Israeli airstrikes on multiple targets in Gaza on May 16. Photo: Mohammed Abed/AFP via Getty Images

The United Nations Security Council was preparing to meet Sunday, as the aerial bombardment between Israel and Hamas between entered a seventh day.

The latest: Four Palestinians died in airstrikes early Sunday, as Israeli forces bombed the home of Gaza's Hamas chief, Yehya al-Sinwar, per Reuters.

6 hours ago - World

In photos: Protests in U.S., across the world over Israeli–Palestinian conflict

A protest march in support of Palestinians near the Washington monument in Washington, D.C. on May 15. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

Thousands of people rallied across the U.S. and the world Saturday following days of violence in Gaza and Israel that's killed at least 145 Palestinians, including 41 children, and eight Israelis, per AP.

The big picture: Most demonstrations were in support of Palestinians. There were tense scenes between pro-Israeli government protesters and pro-Palestinian demonstrators in Winnipeg, Canada, and Leipzig, Germany, but no arrests were made, CBS News and DW.com report.

Updated 14 hours ago - World

Biden in call with Netanyahu raises concerns about civilian casualties in Gaza

Photo: Ahmad Gharabli/Nicholas Kamm/Getty Images

President Biden spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Saturday and raised concerns about civilian casualties in Gaza and the bombing of the building that housed AP and other media offices, according to Israeli officials.

The big picture: At least 140 Palestinians, including dozens of children, have been killed in Gaza since fighting between Israel and Hamas began Monday, according to Palestinian health officials. Nine people, including two children, have been killed by Hamas rockets in Israel.