Publishing Trump's Peace Plan Before Israeli Election Would Be 'Outright Intervention,' Gantz Says

Netanyahu rival was asked about his meeting with assistant to Jared Kushner. 'I can assume they will be careful' about releasing plan, Gantz said

Benny Gantz visits the archaeological site of Umm el-Qanatir, near the Syrian border on December 18, 2019

A U.S. release of its Mideast peace plan before the Israeli election would constitute an intervention in its political process, Benny Gantz, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's chief rival, said on Wednesday.

Gantz, head of the Kahol Lavan party, was asked during a party meeting in Jerusalem about his meeting Tuesday with Avi Berkowitz, assistant to Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner.

"I am happy about these meetings and about the important ties with the U.S.," Gantz replied, but added: "I can assume that on such an important matter the Americans would be careful and not publish it before the election, because that would be an outright intervention in the State of Israel's election process."

The peace plan for Israel and the Palestinians has been in deep freeze since Netanyahu failed to form a government after Israel's April 9 election.

The main purpose of Berkowitz's visit is to gather information about Israel's political situation, ahead of the country's third election within a year. The visit isn't likely to lead to a major breakthrough in the peace plan.

The Trump administration was preparing to release the peace plan in spring of 2019, but Netanyahu's two consecutive failures to form a government, which led to another election on March 2, caused an unexpected delay.

The economic chapter of the plan was released in June 2019, but the political, diplomatic and security components have yet to be published, which could take months.