Hundreds of leftists on Motzoei Shabbos protested against the possibility that Israel would annex parts of Yehuda and Shomron. Among the protesters were leftist MKs and members of far-left groups such as Peace Now.
Shouting slogans against annexation and calling for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to resign, protesters demonstrated outside Dizengoff Center in Tel Aviv. Protesters were largely local Tel Aviv residents, although some were bused in in organized manner from kibbutzim. Several of the protesters hoised Palestinian flags. Among the participants was Meretz MK Tamar Zandberg; Darwish Rabi, Mayor of the Arab town of Jaljuliya; and Avner Gavrihu, head of the far-left Breaking the Silence organization.
Sunday’s Cabinet meeting – which was set to discuss details of the annexation plan – was canceled, but the Cabinet will meet this week to discuss approval of the “Deal of the Century” peace plan. Reports said that the meeting was canceled as Israel tries to work out the schedule of annexation with the U.S.
On Thursday, U.S. Mideast negotiator Jared Kushner said in an interview that the U.S. would prefer Israel impose sovereignty after the March election. “The hope is that they’ll wait till after the election, and we’ll work with them to try to come up with something,” Kushner said, adding that there were many parameters that needed to be examined and understood.
“We’ve agreed with them on forming a technical team to start studying taking the conceptual map. The Jordan Valley can mean a lot of different things,” Kushner said, citing an example. “I think we’d need an Israeli government in place in order to move forward,” he added.
A report Motzoei Shabbos said that Netanyahu was determined to at least start the process of annexation before the election – annexing towns in Yehudah and Shomron, but not open areas surrounding them.