President Donald Trump is expected to announce soon whether the White House supports Israel’s plan to annex parts of the West Bank.
According to CBN News, Trump’s Middle East team will meet this week. The team includes Jared Kushner, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien and U.S. ambassador to Israel David Friedman.
Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu is planning on extending Israel’s borders to include about 30 percent of the West Bank and Jordan Valley. While many see the annexation of the West Bank as a violation of international law, Netanyahu is hoping Trump will support the plan.
Trump’s Israeli-Palestinian peace plan, released in January, approved of the annexation, but some say the White House may be reconsidering after Palestine rejected the deal.
According to media reports, the Trump administration may be discussing a plan that takes a “gradual” approach to annexation of the West Bank.
Netanyahu also rejected parts of the peace plan, including a directive to create a Palestinian state. He says annexation of some territory could start as soon as July 1.
The White House has also said it would like Netanyahu to agree with alternate prime minster Benny Gantz about annexation. Gantz has said annexation should happen but only as directed in Trump’s peace plan and should not include annexing areas with “many Palestinian residents.”
Gantz has also said he is worried annexation could end a peace treaty with Jordan, where King Abdullah II has warned “massive conflict” if annexation happens.
This week, 116 of 198 Republican House members signed a letter to Netanyahu endorsing annexation of settlements in the West Bank.
The letter says Israel has a “right to sovereignty and defensible borders.”
On the other hand, more than 170 House Democrats have signed and are continuing to circulate a letter that opposes annexation.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/John Theodor
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.