Will Benjamin Netanyahu announce a annexation this July 1?

What are the latest statements?

“The date of 1is July is not a sacred date. Anything unrelated to coronavirus can wait. ”, slipped, Monday, June 29, the Minister of Defense, Benny Gantz, to the US special envoy Avi Berkowitz. « The question of annexation is not the responsibility of Kahol Lavan ”, (Bleu Blanc), the party of Benny Gantz, “And the discreet contacts continue”, Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu replied curtly to activists from his own party, Likud.

According to the agreement signed in May between Benjamin Netanyahu and his former electoral rival Benny Gantz, their unity government must present to the Knesset, as of Wednesday July 1, its “Strategy” for implementing the “Trump plan” for the Middle East.

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This project, presented at the end of January in Washington by the American president, encourages the annexation by Israel of more than 130 Jewish colonies in the occupied West Bank and in the Jordan Valley which would become the new eastern border of Israel with Jordan.

An unexpected opportunity for the Israeli Prime Minister, who fears more than all the election in November in Washington of a democratic candidate less favorable to his views. But on the eve of the fateful date, the messages remain contradictory to say the least.

What is the internal situation?

The annexation is far from winning the massive support of the Israelis. Only 3 to 5% of them, according to polls, consider it as “Priority” of the new government and many more are quoting the fight against unemployment or the pandemic. Half of the population would be in favor of annexation (with or without the support of the United States), according to a recent study by the Israeli Institute for Democracy. 30% oppose it, and 20% – a figure “Surprisingly high”, according to the study authors – have no opinion. In addition, 58% of Israelis fear that she will “Pushes the Palestinians to launch a third intifada”.

The equation is complex for Benjamin Netanyahu who has made “Declaration of sovereignty” on a part of the West Bank a campaign promise. “The opposition even exists within this extreme right which he is courting, reminds a good connoisseur of Israeli society. Some of the settlers consider that the project will not go far enough: in their eyes, the whole of Judea and Samaria must be annexed, and a future Palestinian state is simply unthinkable. “

Even within his government, Benny Gantz and his Minister for Foreign Affairs, Gaby Ashkenazi, are reputed to be more cautious. In an open letter published in early April, 220 former generals of Mossad and the Shin Bet also warned of the risk of undermining the peace agreements with Egypt and Jordan, of irritating the countries of the Gulf and undermine the Palestinian Authority.

What are the international reactions?

As a sign of disapproval, the Palestinian Authority ended security cooperation with Israel, and reiterated that any annexation would cancel its agreements with the Hebrew state. Monday, June 29, however, she said she was ready to “Resume direct bilateral negotiations” in a 4-page text given to the Quartet (European Union, UN, Russia and the United States).

The UN, the European Union and the Arab countries have, each in their own way, tried to dissuade Israel from embarking on a unilateral annexation that is contrary to international law … without, however, having too many illusions. Everyone knows that the United States is the only one capable of influencing the decision.

Even in Washington, the dissensions between David Friedman, American ambassador to Jerusalem, and Jared Kushner, son-in-law of Donald Trump, are common knowledge. “Let us not forget that Benjamin Netanyahu and Donald Trump themselves are opposed by their temperament”, recalled the Israeli-American philosopher Micah Goodman, during an online seminar organized by the ELNET institute.

“Donald Trump is an adventurer while Benjamin Netanyahu has always been very careful when it comes to peace and war: he certainly wants to leave his mark on history but he is deeply conservative. ” In short, the suspense remains intact.

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