Bennett, Yamina seeking action for annexation next week

Aטקךקא Shaked: We must not delay apply sovereignty this is a one in 52-year opportunityץ

New Right leaders Ayelet Shaked and Naftali Bennett (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
New Right leaders Ayelet Shaked and Naftali Bennett
Defense Minister Naftali Bennett and his Yamina Party are planning to advance executive or legislative processes to push forward the annexation of territory in the West Bank designated to Israel under the Trump plan for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Bennett is extremely anxious to move forward with the annexation of the 30% of the West Bank territory, which the Trump plan suggests should become part of Israel proper – though he has totally rejected the other major stipulation of the plan, which would allow for the establishment of a Palestinian state.
Speaking on Wednesday at a conference at the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), Bennett called repeatedly for the government to vote in a meeting of the cabinet on a government resolution to annex those territories this Sunday.
He noted, however, that despite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s initial comments that indicated such a vote would happen very swiftly, several Likud ministers have now said that the process will take some time.
Comments made since Tuesday by Senior Adviser to US President Donald Trump Jared Kushner and US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman have indicated, however, that the White House does not believe that annexation should happen immediately, explaining the cooling of Netanyahu’s enthusiasm for such action.
Bennett is nevertheless eager to proceed regardless, saying if the decision gets postponed till after the election, “It will not happen,” while senior Yamina leader Ayelet Shaked said Thursday night that the party would “do everything we can to bring a decision [on annexation] to the cabinet next week.”
Yamina is therefore examining three options to advance annexation.
The first option is to continue urging for a government resolution for annexation – a form of executive action which is legally binding, and adopted by a vote in the cabinet.
Bennett and Yamina do not, however, control the agenda of the cabinet, and can do little practically to force a vote on the issue aside from exerting external political and media pressure.
Another option Yamina is considering is to advance legislation for annexation through a government bill, although this too has little chance of passing, as the Knesset is in recess, making the legislative process more difficult.
One advantage, however, is that the bill could be brought to a vote in a cabinet meeting, which would exert pressure on Netanyahu and Likud ministers to vote in favor of it, even though the ability to pass it into law in the Knesset during the current period of an interim government and Knesset recess would remain extremely thin.
The other possible option Yamina is considering, which will have, however, no practical effect, is to bring a motion to the agenda, to the Knesset plenum, calling for the annexation of the relevant territories.
Motions to the agenda are purely declarative and would likely receive the support of all the Likud and right-wing MKs, including Netanyahu if he cared to turn up for the vote.
The only advantage of such a vote would be to embarrass the Blue and White party and its leader Benny Gantz, who has said he favors the Trump peace plan but has argued against implementation before the election.
Immediate annexation would be a huge victory for Netanyahu ahead of the election, which is likely Gantz’s motivation in opposing such measures, although he has also said that Trump’s plan requires coordination with Jordan, Egypt and the Palestinians as well.