Netanyahu ally wants West Bank ‘cultivation’ now, not annexation

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s top coalition partner wants Israel to shelve planned West Bank annexations and instead focus on improving conditions for Jewish settlers and Palestinians in the occupied territory, two cabinet ministers said on Friday.

Centrist ex-general Benny Gantz and the conservative Netanyahu agreed to begin discussing annexations as of July 1, but the plan — already dogged by diplomatic blowback — has been sidelined by a resurgence of coronavirus.

Gantz says the health crisis should take precedence over any West Bank moves that may inflame conflict with the Palestinians.

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