(JTA) — An American official said that Israeli annexations of parts of the West Bank can occur as part of a plan that includes establishing a Palestinian state, an Israeli news channel reported.
The official, who was not named, said the United States “will be prepared to recognize an Israeli annexation as part of a broad move in which Israel agrees to negotiations with the Palestinians in accordance with the Trump Plan,” Channel 13 reported Thursday.
“Annexation needs to be part of an offer to establish a Palestinian state based on specific conditions, a defined territory and generous financial aid,” the source is quoted as saying.
A US Embassy spokesperson told The Times of Israel that there has been no change in the US position.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has urged his coalition partner, Benny Gantz, to support annexation of the Jordan Valley and some Israeli settlement in the West Bank in the coming months.
Under the peace plan released by the White House in January, parts of the West Bank would become officially recognized Israeli territory, including east Jerusalem. The plan also calls for the establishment of a Palestinian state in parts of the West Bank and Gaza.
Israel has accepted the plan as a basis for negotiations. The Palestinian Authority and Hamas have rejected it.
The European Union has objected to the plan, with ambassadors from at least 10 countries warning Israel not to annex earlier this week, Channel 13 reported.
Ambassador to Israel David Friedman in February warned Israel not to annex unilaterally.
Doing so “endangers the plan and American recognition,” he wrote on Twitter.