Israeli Defense Ministry against annexation of Palestinian territories before pandemic ends

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Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said Monday that the annexation of Jewish settlements on the West Bank should take place after the coronavirus pandemic.

The Ganz’s office said Monday that the Secretary of Defense met with Washington’s Middle East envoy Aviv Berkowitz and US ambassador David Friedman to discuss the US peace plan. The press service said nothing about the outcome of the meeting.

The office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has not yet commented on whether the country’s leadership really decided to postpone the annexation plans until the end of the epidemic.

Ganz and Netanyahu have concluded an agreement according to which Netanyahu will be able to initiate the annexation process with the help of the cabinet or the Knesset – the Israeli parliament. If he does this through a cabinet vote, Ganz will be able to use his veto power and prevent annexation. But if Netanyahu asks the parliament to consider this issue, then he will need a simple majority of votes. If most Knesset deputies support this initiative, Ganz will not be able to stop it.

As part of an agreement between politicians, Ganz will receive the post of prime minister in 2021.

Earlier, Israel changed its mind to annex the Jordan Valley.

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