Israeli Cabinet postpones vote on West Bank annexation

The Israeli settlement of Kyryat Arba is pictured in the occupied West Bank near the Palestinian town of Hebron on November 19, 2019. (AFP)

A senior Israeli minister said on Wednesday that a Cabinet vote to endorse annexation of parts of the West Bank will not take place early next week, despite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s pledge a day earlier to act quickly after the US released a plan to end the conflict that was rejected by the Palestinians.

Netanyahu said he would ask the Cabinet to advance the extension of Israeli sovereignty over most Jewish settlements and the strategic Jordan Valley, a move that would likely spark international outrage and complicate the White House's efforts to build support for the plan.

Tourism Minister Yariv Levin told Israel Radio that a Cabinet vote on annexing territories on Sunday was not technically feasible because of various preparations, including “bringing the proposal before the attorney general and letting him consider the matter.”

Levin, a senior member of Netanyahu's Likud party, said the Palestinian state envisioned by the Trump plan is “roughly the same Palestinian Authority that exists today, with authority to manage civil affairs,” but lacking “substantive powers” like border control or a military.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 10:05 - GMT 07:05
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