Kushner: We Won’t Consent to Annexation for ‘Some Time,’ Israel Won’t Annex Without Our Approval

Senior Trump advisor calls on Palestinians to return to negotiating table now that annexation has been postponed

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Kushner gives a press briefing on the Israel-UAE deal at the White house, August 13, 2020.
Kushner gives a press briefing on the Israel-UAE deal at the White house, August 13, 2020.Credit: Andrew Harnik/AP

Jared Kushner, senior advisor to U.S. President Donald Trump, said on Monday that the U.S. government does not plan on giving Israel permission to annex parts of the West Bank "for some time," and that Israel will not follow through with annexation without U.S. approval.

In a press conference, Kushner, who is also Trump's son-in-law, said that the United States hopes that Israel will honor this commitment. "Israel has agreed with us that they will not move forward without our consent, and we do not plan to give our consent for some time."

PODCAST: Inside Israel's no-change, no-cost peace deal with the UAECredit: Haaretz

He added, "We want Israel to focus on creating new relationships and new alliances. That land is land that right now, Israel quite frankly controls. It's Israelis who are living there. It's not going anywhere. There shouldn't be any urgency for them to apply Israeli law, and so we believe they will stick to their agreement." Trump earned the trust of the Israeli public and government after he moved the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, Kushner said, which will hold Israel to its word.

"Israel has made a very generous offer for a state and for land swaps, and the ball is in the Palestinians' court now," Kushner said. "They said they would come back and negotiate" if Israel were to halt its annexation plans, Kushner added. "That has now happened. We'll see what they decide to do," emphasizing that he will not "chase" Palestinian leaders if they do not want to help themselves.

He added that the Trump administration's Middle East plan marked the first time that Israel agreed to two states according to an established map, and made progress towards the establishment of a Palestinian state – "a major breakthrough that changed the view of a lot of people in the region about Israel's seriousness to actually make concessions to solve this long-standing conflict."

In an interview broadcast by Sky News Arabia to the UAE Monday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the United States requested that Israel freeze annexation at this point. He added that Israel agreed to do so in order to "widen the circle of peace," that that the move would increase the chances of peace with other countries.

Israel agreed to put annexing West Bank territory on hold to advance its normalization agreement with the United Arab Emirates, the country announced on Thursday. On Sunday, officials in Israel and the UAE started to hammer out the details of the agreement to establish full diplomatic relations, in advance of official talks to take place in Abu Dhabi. On Monday, the first preparatory meeting of the Israeli delegation slated to travel to the UAE took place.

Netanyahu on Sunday said that the U.S. administration had asked him to give up on annexation of parts of the West Bank in exchange for normalization with the United Arab Emirates, saying "It's not that they had given me a choice."

Netanyahu told Army Radio that annexation could not be carried out without the approval of the United States, and that Washington had asked him to temporarily suspend annexation. Annexation, he said, remained part of the White House's Mideast plan.

The prime minister also said that the agreement disproved "the idea that we need to uproot communities or else we won't get an official agreement with an Arab nation."

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

The Orion nebula, photographed in 2009 by the Spitzer Telescope.

What if the Big Bang Never Actually Happened?

Relatives mourn during the funeral of four teenage Palestinians from the Nijm family killed by an errant rocket in Jabalya in the northern Gaza Strip, August 7.

Why Palestinian Islamic Jihad Rockets Kill So Many Palestinians

בן גוריון

'Strangers in My House': Letters Expelled Palestinian Sent Ben-Gurion in 1948, Revealed

AIPAC

AIPAC vs. American Jews: The Toxic Victories of the 'pro-Israel' Lobby

Bosnian Foreign Minister Bisera Turkovic speaks during a press conference in Sarajevo, Bosnia in May.

‘This Is Crazy’: Israeli Embassy Memo Stirs Political Storm in the Balkans

Hamas militants take part in a military parade in Gaza.

Israel Rewards Hamas for Its Restraint During Gaza Op