In the months ahead, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to announce plans to extend Israeli sovereignty over portions of the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) containing the vast majority of Israeli settlements. This territory comprises 30% of the West Bank. The remaining land, where most Palestinians reside, will be reserved for an independent Palestinian state under the Trump peace plan — should the Palestinian people and its leadership choose to live in peace side-by-side next to the Jewish state.
Although Israel’s anticipated action is consistent with the US government’s most recent peace proposal, it has been greeted in other quarters with criticism. In a recent op-ed in The New York Times, Daniel Pipes, president of the Middle East Forum, ominously warns that any such “annexation” would “damage Israel’s relations with the Trump administration, the Democrats, Europeans and Arab leaders, as well as destabilize the region, radicalize the Israeli left, and harm the Zionist goal of a Jewish State.”