US envoy says Israel has the right to annex part of Judea and Samaria

US envoy says Israel has the right to annex part of Judea and Samaria

Israel has the right to annex parts of Judea and Samaria, US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman told the New York Times in an interview published Saturday.

“Under certain circumstances, I think Israel has the right to retain some, but unlikely all, of the West Bank,” he said.

It was unclear which Judea and Samaria territories Friedman meant and whether Israel’s retention would be part of a peace accord that includes land swaps – an idea floated in past negotiations – rather than a unilateral move such as annexation.

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US ambassador David Friedman declined to say how Washington would respond to annexation, but remarked: “We really don’t have a view until we understand how much, on what terms, why does it make sense, why is it good for Israel, why is it good for the region, why does it not create more problems than it solves.

“These are all things that we’d want to understand, and I don’t want to prejudge.”

Prime minister Netanyahu said in the run-up to the April elections, that he plans to annex Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, a move bound to trigger widespread condemnation in the Arab world.

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The White House has been working on a proposal for peace dubbed by President Trump “the deal of the century”.  In an interview, last week White House adviser Jared Kushner cast doubt on the PA abilities to self-govern.

The Palestinian Authority has rejected the peace plan before it has even been unveiled, citing his administration is irredeemably biased.