Foreign Minister and Blue and White MK Gabi Ashkenazi is allegedly trying to stop the proposed annexation of settlements in the West Bank, according to an unnamed United Nations official, as reported by Army Radio on Tuesday.
The report noted that Ashkenazi is allegedly unable to find a single beneficial reason for annexing Jewish settlements in the West Bank, where it has been claimed by the UN official that the foreign minister is moving behind the scenes to stop the annexation, rather than publicly expressing his views on the matter in contravention of Alternative Prime Minister and Blue and White head Benny Gantz's opinion on the matter.
The report also noted that Ashkenazi expressed his reservations on the basis that the proposed unilateral annexation is untenable and potentially irresponsible, and any annexation should be done in coordination with the United States, neighboring Arab states and the Palestinians within the framework of a comprehensive agreement on core issues.
Maj.-Gen. (ret.) Amos Gilad, former head of the IDF's Military Intelligence Directorate Research Department, also expressed his reservations on the wisdom of a unilateral annexation of Jewish settlements in the West Bank in an interview with Army Radio, where he said it will cost tens of billions, while also weakening ties between Israeli Gulf states in the wake of rising Iranian influence in the Middle East.
The report comes amid intra-factional disputes within both the Likud and Blue and White parties over the annexation plan, with some ministers on the Right claiming it leaves Jewish settlements isolated if done in phases, while ministers on the Left believe it can risk Israel's relations with the international community and the stability of the Palestinian Authority.