Israel's Alternate Prime Minister and Defense Minister Benny Gantz in a directive on Monday ordered the country's military to step up its plans to annex territory in the West Bank
TEL AVIV (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 01st June, 2020) Israel's Alternate Prime Minister and Defense Minister Benny Gantz in a directive on Monday ordered the country's military to step up its plans to annex territory in the West Bank.
"Alternate Prime Minister and Defense Minister Benny Gantz has instructed the Israeli army's Chief of Staff Lt. Gen Aviv Kochavi to speed up preparations with the Israel Defense Forces ahead of the government's efforts on the agenda in the Palestinian arena," the directive, which was published by Gantz's office, read.
Earlier in the day, Gantz said that the safety of Israeli citizens is the country's top priority, and the government will strive to cooperate safely with other countries in the region. The alternate prime minister made the comments to the Blue and White faction in the Israeli parliament.
Gantz also met with US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman to discuss regional issues and other diplomatic matters.
Israel's plans to begin annexing land in the West Bank follows in the wake of US President Donald Trump's so-called deal of the century that proposed a two-state solution in the region that would allow for the creation of a demilitarized Palestinian state.
However, the Palestinian side has rejected the deal outright as it would recognize Israeli settlements in the West Bank. On May 19, the Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas announced that Palestinians would abandon their commitments under agreements with Israel and the US. Abbas cited the Israeli government's public plans to seize lands in the West Bank.