Gantz to US officials: Target date for sovereignty ‘not sacred’

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Israeli government more focused on helping those who have struggled financially due to the coronavirus outbreak, defense minister says, adding that the Trump plan should be promoted among regional partners.

Defense Minister and Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz met with the US Special Envoy for International Negotiations Avi Berkowitz and US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman on Monday to discuss the Trump administration’s peace plan and the efforts to move forward with the provisions that would extend Israeli sovereignty to Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.

Gantz told the US officials that the target date of July 1 for the move was not “sacred” and that the Israeli government was more focused on helping those who have struggled financially due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The Trump administration’s newly unveiled Vision for Peace stipulates that Washington will endorse an Israeli decision to apply sovereignty to large parts of Judea and Samaria and the Jordan Valley as long as Israel commits to holding good-faith negotiations with the Palestinians and avoid construction in certain areas that could become part of a Palestinian state. That state will only be established four years after negotiations begin and only if the Palestinians fully renounce terrorism and carry out major reforms, and only if they are no longer considered a threat to Israel.

Speaking with reporters as he met the US officials, Gantz said: “President Donald Trump’s plan is a historic development and it serves as the right platform through which we can move the peace process in the Middle East forward. It should be promoted with our regional strategic partners and the Palestinians in order to reach a framework that would be to everyone’s benefit in a responsible, proportional and reciprocal way.”

Originally posted at israelhayom.com


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