On Sunday, February 9, 2020, the US ambassador to Israel, David Friedman slightly warned to consult Washington before the Israeli government’s planned annexation and declaring sovereignty over any parts of the West Bank.
Denying it a threat to the US ally, Israel, Friedman said that he only shared about the “difference of views” and let know where the US position was on the issue of West bank. Citing the importance of the role of the US President Donald Trump’s committee, the envoy claimed that both the US and Israel must finalize its bilateral mapping project ahead with the planned annexation.
US-Israel Mapping Process
With the rise of the possible attack from Israel to the West Bank, the US representative put certain concerns to Israel to avoid annexation without Washington’s approval. The US precaution warning was sought to issue against Israel as there was apprehension insisting for immediate action against the West bank by some ultra-nationalist leaders within Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition.
On January 28, 2020, the US unveiled Trump’s Middle East peace plan and shared with the Israeli leader about the possible mapping of the war-ridden region. Meanwhile, the envoy shared that the US mapping process with the leader of Israel might take more months which made a little dispute between the two countries.
Friedman tweeted, “Israel is subject to the completion (of) a mapping process by a joint Israeli-American committee. Any unilateral action in advance of the completion of the committee process endangers the Plan & American recognition.” In a separate speech, Friedman described, “a little bit of patience, to go through a process, to do it right, is not something which we think is too much to ask for.”
Meanwhile, Netanyahu wanted a speedy “application of Israeli law” that could allow the country to de facto annexation of the West Bank before March 2, 2020, national election happened. The incumbent PM believed that the invasion to the West Bank could get the people’s support on him in the election and begin his sixth term in the office. The Palestinians have already rejected Trump’s Peace Plan and demanded for resettlement of the country according to the then Palestinian map on the 1967 borders.
Palestinians Claiming for 1967 Borders Map
Israel controlled large areas of the West Bank after the Six-Day War in June 1967. After the annexation of the most parts of the West Bank, several countries condemned Israeli settlements on land which was captured in the 1967 Middle East war to be a violation of international law. The US government under the Trump administration has changed and withdrew such objections to Israel and started preparing projects for the final settlement of the disputed land.
According to the 1993 Oslo Accords, the Palestinian Authority was officially made to control approximately 11% of the territories of the West bank. Following the news of Israel’s latest concern, Palestinian leaders said that the US-Israel settlement would make a more chaotic situation in the future of the state.
Nabil Abu Rdainah, a spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Claimed, “Any unilateral step is rejected whether it is taken before or after the election… Facts can’t be created on the ground and they will never become a reality.” Rdainah added, “The only thing we can accept is the Palestinian map on the 1967 borders.”
In an election campaign on Saturday, Netanyahu claimed that the mapping process with the Americans had begun and said, “We’ve been waiting since 1967 and some people are making a big deal out of a few weeks.” Friedman said that the mapping process would not be completed before the national election of March 2020.
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