US envoy warns Washington could pull support as Israel unilaterally starts drawing map for West Bank annexations

9 Feb, 2020

Unilateral action by Israel to annex land in the West Bank would endanger US support for a proposed blueprint for the region, US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman has said.

“Israel is subject to the completion [of] a mapping process by a joint Israeli-American committee. Any unilateral action in advance of the completion of the committee process endangers the Plan & American recognition,” Friedman said, in a message posted on Twitter.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Saturday that his government had begun to draw up maps of land in the occupied West Bank, in accordance with US President Donald Trump’s proposed peace plan. However, Judging by Friedman’s message, it appears that Washington has taken issue with being excluded from the process, and could potentially withdraw support for the plan if Israel proceeds alone.

The area being mapped includes all of Israel’s illegal settlements in the Jordan Valley. Palestinians view these lands as rightfully theirs, comprising part of a future state.

“The only map that can be accepted as the map of Palestine is the map of the Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital,” said Nabil Abu Rudeinah, spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Palestinian outrage over the so-called ‘deal of the century’ has already led to violent incidents in the West Bank and Jerusalem.

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