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Mike Pompeo Discusses West Bank Annexation With Netanyahu And Gantz In Israel

Mike Pompeo, on his one-day visit to Israel, reportedly spoke about the complexities of Israel’s planned de facto annexation of the occupied West Bank.

Mike Pompeo

The United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, on his one-day visit to Israel, reportedly spoke about the complexities of Israel’s planned de facto annexation of the occupied West Bank. Pompeo reportedly said that after the talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the move must be done in accordance with a US peace plan. 

A day before the inauguration of the new government, Pompeo held talks with Netanyahu and his political rival turned designated coalition partner Benny Gantz. While the new government reportedly plans in July to begin debating extending sovereignty to Israeli settlements and the strategic Jordan Valley in the West Bank, Pompeo, while speaking to an Israeli newspaper, said that the West Bank territorial moves were an Israeli decision that Netanyahu and Gants have right to make. 

READ: Mike Pompeo Praises Israel Over COVID-19 Cooperation, Calls Netanyahu 'great Partner'

However, Pompeo also reportedly noted that the issue was complex and required coordination with Washington, which has formed a joint team with Israel to map out new territory lines in the West Bank in accordance with Trump’s Middle East Plan. Pompeo also said that he also talked bout several other issues related to the annexation. The three leaders talked about how to deal with all parties involved and how to make sure the move is done properly under Trump’s plan. 

Meanwhile, the President of the State of Palestine Mahmoud Abbas, in a televised show said that the Palestinians would review the peace accords with Israel and agreements with the US. Abbas said that the authorities will, however, hold the American and Israeli governments responsible for all the consequences. 

READ: Pompeo Meets Netanyahu, Annexation Talks Expected

The Middle East Vision

The Middle East plan would let Israel annex Jewish settlements in the West Bank and exert sovereignty all the way to Jordan. However, both Hamas and the Palestinian Authority have rejected Trump's plan. The Palestinians were offered limited self-rule in Gaza, parts of the West Bank, and some sparsely populated areas of Israel in return for meeting a long list of conditions. 

Hamas has vowed that ‘all options are open’ in its response to the proposal, but is not believed to be seeking war with Israel. Meanwhile, President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan denounced the Israeli-Palestinian peace truce in January and called it 'completely unacceptable'. 

(Image: AP)

READ: Despite Virus, Pompeo In Israel To Talk West Bank Annexation

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