Defense Minister Benny Gantz has directed IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi to draw up contingency plans for annexations in Yehudah and Shomron and the Jordan Valley, according to media reports.
At a Blue and White faction meeting on Monday, Gantz said he asked Kochavi for the military to outline a range of scenarios “for any possibility of these processes influencing the region.”
The Defense Minister’s office added that “a joint team will be formed that will bring together recommendations — on an operational level — for the efforts that are on the agenda for the West Bank and Gaza Strip.” There were described as “diplomatic efforts on the agenda in the Palestinian arena,” without specifying applications of sovereignty, according to The Times of Israel.
Gantz also said that he and Prime Minister Netanyahu have been in touch with Washington on the matter.
As usual, he stipulated that such action would be in “cooperation with states of the region,” Jordan and Egypt in particular.
Despite assurances of cooperation, a Kan report quoted “senior Jordanian officials” who said there have been no discussions with their Israeli counterparts about the annexation proposal. In recent days, Jordan has said that any such move would jeopardize the peace treaty between the two countries.
Gantz’s office and the Prime Minister’s Office declined comment on the report.
Later in the day, a Channel 13 report claimed that American officials are intent on slowing down the move toward annexation.
Netanyahu discussed the matter with Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s adviser, and Avi Berkowitz, the White House envoy on Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts, according to media reports.
Quoting a senior Israeli source, the report said that the Americans “want to downplay the enthusiasm” for imminent annexation — “to greatly slow the process” — because the administration is preoccupied with domestic concerns, chief among them a wave of protests and riots over the killing of George Floyd by a policeman in Minneapolis last week.
Updated Monday, June 1, 2020 at 3:21 pm update info