Report: White House Opposes Jordan Valley Annexation Before Peace Plan

YERUSHALAYIM -
israel jordan valley
Campaign poster of Blue and White Party head Benny Gantz seen along the Ayalon highway in Tel Aviv, Wednesday. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

A day after Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu‏‏ and Blue and White leader Benny Gantz tried to outdo each other in promising to annex the Jordan Valley, Channel 13 reported that the White House is opposed to any such action before publication of the administration’s peace plan.

The reported cited sources in the U.S. government.

“The Israeli government is completely aware of this [position],” the officials were quoted as saying.

Washington has not explicitly rejected a possible Israeli annexation of the Jordan Valley, though it has also not said it would endorse it.

Remarks by Gantz on the timing of the plan’s release also generated heat. Initially, on Tuesday he said it would be better if it would happen after the March 2 election; but later on said that President Donald Trump should publish it as soon as possible.

Gantz did not explain the reversal, though the Walla news site said it was in response to White House reaction. “The Americans were very angry that his declaration was made publicly,” Blue and White sources were quoted as saying.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday it was reported that presidential adviser Jared Kushner and Avi Berkowitz, special representative for international negotiations, postponed their trip to Israel, and will not arrive as previously scheduled.

Their trip was cancelled at the last minute on Wednesday, “after their flight was delayed due to weather conditions,” a White House official told The Jerusalem Post. There was no word about rescheduling of the visit.