PM says US and Israel are working out differences in approach to Trump plan. ‘They call it Palestinian statehood, we don’t see it that way.’
The Trump administration has yet to give its backing to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s sovereignty plan, Netanyahu told settlement leaders Sunday, according to a report by Hadashot Kan.
During a meeting with 11 Israeli mayors from across Judea and Samaria who back the prime minister’s plan to apply sovereignty over parts of Judea and Samaria, Netanyahu said that the US still has not given the green-light to the sovereignty plan, adding that differences regarding the approach to the larger Trump Middle East peace plan had yet to be ironed out.
Netanyahu told settlement leaders that White House officials wanted to emphasize the plan’s support for Palestinian statehood, a position Israel did not back.
“The Americans are calling it a Palestinian state, but we don’t see it that way,” said Netanyahu, according to the report.
The mayors attending the meeting included Nir Bartel – Mayor of Oranit, Shai Rosenzweig – Mayor of Alfei Menashe, Eli Shaviro – Mayor of Ariel, Assaf Mintzer – Mayor of Elkana, Haim Mendel Shaked – Mayor of Har Adar, Aryeh Cohen – Mayor of Megillot, Yossi Avrahami – Mayor of Givat Ze’ev, Oded Revivi – Mayor of Efrat, Yigal Lahav – Mayor of Karnei Shomron, Eliyahu Gaffney – Mayor of Emanuel, and Yaakov Asher Guterman, Mayor of Modi’in Illit.
Shortly after the meeting, Efrat Mayor Oded Revivi lauded both President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu, calling them friends of “the settlements”.
“The Prime Minister is a friend of the settlements,” said Mayor Revivi.
“In a series of steps, the President of the United States, the leader of the most friendly administration towards Israel and the settlements, has achieved things we could never have dreamed of.”
Revivi added, “We have enough enemies surrounding us, we do not need to create controversy between us. During this time we all must align with the Prime Minister.”
The meeting comes days after other settlement leaders, critics of the sovereignty plan and the US peace proposal, met with Netanyahu.
David Elhayani, the chief of the Yesha Council, which represents all Israelis living in Judea and Samaria, slammed President Trump over the peace plan, saying it would force Israel to give up large sections of Area C, which is currently administered by Israel, and agree to the establishment of a Palestinian state in most of Judea and Samaria.
Other right-wing critics of the Trump plan, including the Yamina party, have hit Netanyahu recently over the details of his sovereignty plan.