US demanding Israel drop claims to areas beyond sovereignty plan

PM Netanyahu (right) with David Friedman (left)REUTERS

Israeli officials say US is pushing Israel to accept sovereignty plan as final border, drop claims to rest of Judea & Samaria.

The Trump administration has called for the boundaries set by Israel’s sovereignty plan to become Israel’s eastern border, with Israel agreeing to give up its demands to apply sovereignty over the remaining parts of Judea and Samaria, according to a report by Galei Tzahal Wednesday afternoon.

According to the report, which cited unnamed members of the Israeli coalition government, the Trump administration has pushed for the joint US-Israeli mapping team, which is delineating the boundaries of the areas to be placed under Israeli sovereignty, to define those new boundaries as the borders of the State of Israel.

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While the precise boundaries have yet to be finalized by the mapping team, Israel is expected to apply sovereignty over approximately 30% of Judea and Samaria, including the Jordan Valley, Dead Sea coast, and all Israeli towns beyond the pre-1967 Green Line.

The US will, in keeping with the Trump administration’s peace plan, recognize Israeli sovereignty in these areas, while requiring Israel not to expand towns or establish new communities outside of the areas delineated for sovereignty for a period of four years, leaving the door open to final status negotiations with the Palestinian Authority.

Israeli officials cited by the Galei Tzahal report said the new conditions for US recognition of Israeli sovereignty in parts of Judea and Samaria would require Israel to not only fix its final border based on the mapping team’s boundaries, but also drop its claims to the remainder of Judea and Samaria.

The officials said the new demand was part of a series of measures that are “unfavorable to Israel” being pushed by the US mapping team. Scott Leith a senior advisor to the US National Security Council on the Israel-Arab conflict, was named as the official responsible for the new measures.

Samaria Regional Council chief Yossi Dagan, who is lobbying against the peace plan’s provision for the establishment of a Palestinian state, said the American request “was further proof” that the US is “slowly making its demands harsher and in so doing is harming the basic interests of the State of Israel”.

Dagan called on Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to apply sovereignty immediately – with or without American support.

“The ball is always in Jerusalem’s court,” said Dagan. “With all due respect to the US and its friendship [with Israel], Israel is a sovereign state, not a banana republic of the US. The excessive demands of the US and its interference in setting Israel’s borders are beyond what is acceptable between friends, even good friends.”

(Arutz 7 – Israel National News).


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