US won’t back Israeli annexation before 2024, according to report

U.S. President Donald J. Trump, surrounded by members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, delivers remarks Sunday on the coronavirus pandemic. [Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool/Abaca Press/TNS]
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By Alisa Odenheimer Bloomberg News (TNS)

President Donald Trump’s administration promised the United Arab Emirates that the U.S. wouldn’t recognize an Israeli annexation of parts of the West Bank until January 2024 at the earliest, the Times of Israel reported, citing unidentified people with knowledge of the matter.

The time frame would cover most of Trump’s second term, if he is reelected. The Trump administration is hoping to use the possibility of backing the annexation during the final year as leverage to bring the Palestinians to the negotiating table, the website said.

The White House and UAE officials in Washington and New York declined to comment, the Times of Israel said.

The extension of sovereignty was part of the Trump administration’s Mideast peace plan, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had said he would move forward with it as early as July 2020, albeit only with American support. As part of the normalization agreement last month between Israel and the UAE, the U.S. said the annexation was suspended, without stating for what period of time.

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