Gantz says will bring U.S. peace plan for Knesset approval next week

Netanyahu announces he will bring for approval Israeli legal sovereignty over West Bank settlements next week; Likud officials scuff Blue & White chairman, accuse of 'bandwagon' PM's success

Sivan Hilaie, Moran Azulay|
Blue & White chairman Benny Gantz announced on Wednesday he will bring a peace plan for the Middle East proposed by U.S. President Donald Trump for Knesset approval next week.
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  • "In recent months, we met with U.S. President Donald Trump's team, led by his adviser Jared Kushner, U.S. Ambassador David Friedman and Ambassador to the Middle East Avi Berkowitz, and discussed the U.S. government's peace plan," said Gantz, speaking at the 13th International INSS Research Institute Conference.
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    בני גנץ
    בני גנץ
    Benny Gantz speaking at the 13th International INSS Research Institute Conference
    (Photo: Yair Sagi)
    "As an Israeli patriot, I tell you that the program faithfully reflects the basic principles of Blue & White's agenda and forms the basis for future settlement in the Middle East."
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced earlier Wednesday that he intends to approve a motion to apply Israeli sovereignty over West Bank settlements during a Security Cabinet meeting next Tuesday.
    Gantz said he would bring the U.S. peace plan - which includes Israeli approval to grant Palestinian statehood – for Knesset to vote on next week.
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    דונלד טראמפ ובנימין נתניהו בחשיפת תוכנית המאה
    דונלד טראמפ ובנימין נתניהו בחשיפת תוכנית המאה
    U.S. President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during the peace plan presentation on Tuesday
    (Photo: GPO)
    The former IDF chief didn't miss an opportunity to take a jibe at Netanyahu, mentioning the premier's legal woes and considering them detrimental to his part in the implementation of the plan.
    "The Deal of the Century was the second most-historic moment this week," said Gantz. "The first and saddening event was when indictments against an incumbent prime minister were filed at court."
    "In order to bring the Trump peace plan to fruition, we need an honest, trustworthy and available prime minister," said Gantz. "This is a historic opportunity to shape the borders and future of Israel and find a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict instead of running it."
    Unfortunately, instead of worrying for his citizens, Netanyahu is forced yet again to look out for himself. Instead of keeping the Jordan Valley and Israeli communities in the West Bank as part of a long-term plan, he endangers the country and its ability to realize this rare opportunity we have got to bring Israel a good agreement under American auspice."
    Likud officials disregarded Gantz's statement, calling the centrist leader a “hitchhiker" who "tries to jump on the bandwagon of the prime minister's tremendous accomplishments, achieved after three years of intensive work with the Trump administration.”
    Attorney General Avicahi Mandelblit said on Tuesday he will examine the legal viability of the move to annex West Bank settlements.
    "I must help the government to implement its policies, but there are rules to it. Care must be taken to maintain restraint with a caretaker government and if a request is submitted I will consider its legal viability," said Mandelblit. "I'll examine the request, what is the reasoning behind its urgency and I will base my decision on this. I'm not ruling anything out."
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