The members of a joint US-Israeli committee tasked with mapping out areas of the West Bank that Israel intends to annex as part of US president Donald Trump’s deal of the century (peace plan) have reportedly started their work.
According to different Israeli news reports, the committee includes US ambassador to Israel David Friedman and his adviser Aryeh Lightstone, as well as Scott Leith, director of the Israeli and Palestinian affairs at the US national security council.
The Israeli members are tourism minister Yariv Levin, Israeli national security council chief Meir Ben-Shabbat, the prime minister’s office director-general, Ronen Peretz and Israel’s ambassador to the US Ron Dermer.
The committee will work on producing maps of the occupied Palestinian areas where Israel have been given the green light by the US administration to annex to its sovereignty.
“We will complete the work as quickly as possible,” Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu said last Sunday at the weekly cabinet meeting, noting that it was already underway.
Friedman, a known supporter of Jewish settlements, had told reporters at the White House immediately after the Trump administration’s peace plan was announced that Israel could “annex settlements at any time” and “should not wait at all” to do so.
Under the plan, the US administration has approved Israel’s intent to annex about 30 percent of the West Bank and Jerusalem, including all of the illegal settlements and the Jordan Valley.