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Kushner ‘hopes Israel waits’ on annexation steps in West Bank after Trump’s Mideast plan announcement

Kushner ‘hopes Israel waits’ on annexation steps in West Bank after Trump’s Mideast plan announcement

White House senior adviser Jared Kushner says Washington wants Israel to wait until after its March 2 election before making any moves toward settlement annexation in the West Bank following the announcement of a US plan for the Middle East.

Kushner is an architect of the peace proposal hailed by Israel and rejected by the Palestinians. “Let’s see what happens,” President Donald Trump’s son-in-law said when asked about the possibility that Israel would begin an annexation process as early as this weekend. “The hope is that they’ll wait until after the election and we’ll work with them to try to come up with something,” he told GZERO Media on Thursday.

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday, after President Donald Trump announced the US plan, that he would ask his cabinet next week to approve applying Israeli law to Jewish settlements in the West Bank. Such a move could be a first step toward formal annexation of the settlements, along with the Jordan Valley in the West Bank, Reuters said.

On Wednesday, Israel’s hawkish Defense Minister Naftali Bennett called for the government to establish sovereignty over nearly a third of the West Bank. Israel’s attorney general still has to weigh in on whether Netanyahu’s present caretaker government has the legal authority to carry out annexation moves.