Monday, February 10, 2020

US ambassador warns Israel against unilateral annexation 'before completing joint committee process' - Ariel Kahana , Daniel Siryoti , News Agencies , Israel Hayom Staff


by Ariel Kahana , Daniel Siryoti , News Agencies , Israel Hayom Staff


"Israel is subject to the completion [of] a mapping process by a joint Israeli-American committee. Any unilateral action in advance of the completion of the committee process endangers the plan and American recognition," US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman tweets.


US ambassador warns Israel against unilateral annexation 'before completing joint committee process'
US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman                                                                                  Photo: Oren Ben Hakoon

US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman on Sunday warned Israel that taking any unilateral step before the joint American-Israeli mapping committee completes its work will jeopardize the Trump peace plan and American recognition of areas designated for Israeli sovereignty under the plan.

In a social media post, Friedman wrote that "Israel is subject to the completion [of] a mapping process by a joint Israeli-American committee. Any unilateral action in advance of the completion of the committee process endangers the plan and American recognition."


Friedman's comments came in the wake of Defense Minister Naftali Bennett's call on Saturday night to immediately bring to a vote the matter of applying sovereignty in parts of Judea and Samaria.



Senior Palestinian officials, meanwhile, told Israel Hayom that a more moderate version of the Indonesia-Tunisia draft resolution rejecting the US plan would be presented before the United Nations Security Council, and won't include explicit condemnation of the Trump plan. According to one senior Palestinian official, the draft was softened to allow the majority of Security Council members to support it. The Palestinian official said the purpose of the move is to isolate the US at the Security Council, and that doing so will "be a diplomatic success in and of itself." The US will almost certainly exercise its veto powers to defeat the resolution.
However, Tunisia's ambassador to the UN was abruptly called home and fired for lack of consultation on the resolution he helped draft, Tunisian authorities said Friday.

Moncef Baati was faulted for an "absence of coordination and consultation" with the Tunisian foreign ministry and with representatives of Arab and Islamic countries at the United Nations, the official TAP news agency quoted the Tunisian president's office as saying.

Baati's dismissal raised questions as to whether the draft resolution had gone too far in countering the US, a long-time ally of Tunisia – even though the Tunisian president just a week ago lambasted the peace plan, otherwise known as the deal of the century, as "the injustice of the century."

Defense Minister Naftali Bennett (Marc Israel Sellem)
As a reminder, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday night said Israel was working together with the US to implement the peace plan.

"We have American support for the annexation of the Jordan Valley and communities in Judea and Samaria, all included. We are already at the height of the process of mapping the area that, according to the Trump plan, will become part of the State of Israel. It won't take too long," Netanyahu said at an election campaign rally in Maale Adumim.

"It's a lot of territory, and the border will be 800 kilometers (500 miles) long. We are initiating this and President Trump will endorse it. I trust him and I totally trust myself. I do not trust [Blue and White leader] Benny Gantz. If it is up to Gantz, sovereignty will not happen. We have been waiting since 1967, and people are making a big deal of a few weeks" until after the election, he added.

Bennett, responding to Netanyahu on Saturday, said: "There will never be a more appropriate moment to declare sovereignty. I call on the prime minister to bring the issue to a cabinet vote immediately. Prime Minister, we will support you from the right. Without sovereignty, we will get a Palestinian terror state with its capital in Jerusalem."

Likud officials on Sunday reacted to Bennett's speech, saying he "is trying to hitch a ride on the sovereignty initiative, which Prime Minister Netanyahu has worked on for the past three years with President Trump. He isn't familiar with the details or the diplomatic moves vis-a-vis the American administration. His comments only jeopardize the application of sovereignty that the Prime Minister Netanyahu is advancing in conjunction and agreement with the Americans."


Ariel Kahana , Daniel Siryoti , News Agencies , Israel Hayom Staff

Source: https://www.israelhayom.com/2020/02/09/us-ambassador-warns-israel-against-unilateral-annexation-steps/

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