White House senior adviser Jared Kushner and other American officials on Monday told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to slow down plans to annex the Jordan Valley and settlements in the West Bank, Israeli TV reported.
According to Channel 13, Netanyahu was urged “to greatly slow the process” with American officials citing a number of challenges currently occupying the administration's attention at the moment.
Angry and sometimes violent protests have broken out across major cities across the U.S. in recent days over the police killing of George Floyd, an unarmed African-American man in Minneapolis.
More than 100,000 coronavirus fatalities across the country have also presented unprecedented challenges for the Trump administration.
The talks came just hours after Defense Minister Benny Gantz ordered the country's top military general to start preparing plans involving West Bank annexation.
Gantz said he instructed IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi to also provide plans on how to manage various Palestinian responses if Israel ultimately decides to extend its sovereignty into parts of the West Bank.
Speaking at a faction meeting of his Blue & White party, Gantz said that both he and Netanyahu are in touch with the Trump administration on how to best execute the White House's vision for Middle East peace.
Under Israel's current government coalition agreement, moves to carry out annexation plans can begin after July 1.
Under the plan, Israel is given a green light to apply its sovereignty to a number of West Bank areas, including the Jordan Valley, in exchange for land swaps mostly located in the Negev desert.
Gantz voiced his approval for the plan at Monday's meeting, saying that the US "Peace to Prosperity" plan was Israel's best opportunity to finally establish its "permanent borders."
At the same time, Gantz stressed the importance of maintaining ties with Israel's neighbors and regional states.