Israel's Netanyahu and Gantz agree on plan to annex parts of West Bank

April, 2020

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his political rival Benny Gantz have reached an agreement to annex parts of the West Bank, paving the way for a unity government after months of a stalemate that resulted from three non-conclusive elections.

After a meeting on Monday, the Israeli leaders agreed on a plan to start a formal process this summer to claim sections of the occupied Palestinian territory as part of Israel, Haaretz reported.

The scheme would be presented to the government if Washington agrees to it, the Israeli newspaper said. After the cabinet passes it, the plan would require the approval of the Israeli parliament, the Knesset. 

The United States has already expressed openness to annexing Israeli settlements and the Jordan Valley in the West Bank.

International law experts say annexing Palestinian territories would be illegal.

Israel formally annexed East Jerusalem in 1980 and the Syrian Golan Heights a year later. But the international community, including Washington, did not recognise Israel's hold over these areas as legal. But Trump declared Jerusalem the capital of Israel late in 2017, and last year, he recognised Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. 

Source: MEE