U.S. Official Indicates Support for Netanyahu Annexation Pledge

YERUSHALAYIM -

A U.S. official indicated on Wednesday that Washington looks favorably on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s annexation pledge delivered Tuesday night.

Asked whether the United States would support Netanyahu’s planned annexation of the territory, the official told Reuters: “He’s a politician making a political statement.”

But then he added: “The prime minister made a very good political gambit that appeared based on statements that U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman has already made.”

In addition, a media report that the Trump administration was informed about Netanyahu’s Jordan Valley statement ahead of time was confirmed.

Also consulted before the speech was Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit. Netanyahu said in an online video that he was prepared to make the annexation plan known last week but was advised by the attorney general that, as the head of a caretaker government, he could not do so.

Nevertheless, the prime minister went ahead with the statement, stipulating that he would wait until after the elections, when he expected he will have a mandate to carry out his promise.

Meanwhile, in an interview with 103FM, Blue and White MK Moshe Yaalon said, “I’m in favor of annexing the Jordan Valley, but what Netanyahu did yesterday is another spin, designed to keep the Bolton story from the headlines. As prime minister, he has already given up the Jordan Valley, he doesn’t care about its residents, so he remembers it 6 days before the election??”

U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton, who resigned on Tuesday, has been regarded as a staunch supporter of Israel and had a tough line on Iran.