Senator Van-Hallen urges the use of US aid to prevent Israel from annexing

Democratic Senator Chris Van-Hallen (Maryland), one of three authors of a Senate speech warning Israeli leaders not to annex parts of the West Bank, said on Wednesday that American taxpayer money should not It supports in any way and encourages or endorses the unilateral annexation of Israel.

Van-Hallen said during a hypothetical panel discussion hosted by the American-Jewish organization J-Street, which calls itself the Israel Peace Lobby, on Wednesday, that while US support for Israel's security must remain "unbreakable", if Israel goes ahead in The annexation, Washington has the right to insist on not using security assistance in this effort, which exceeds $ 3.8 billion annually.

He said: "I do not think that the US dollars should help and incite the unilateral annexation of Palestinian lands."

Van Holen stressed: "This is a very important distinction, we can say we believe that unilateral annexation would be very bad for Israel, bad for the United States, and bad for the region. But then we just say well, we will provide assistance, even if part of that aid is used to pay The costs of unilateral annexation. "

He explained, "I am not suggesting in any way that we should not provide strong security financial assistance to Israel, but I think it is important to draw the dividing line in relation to those dollars used to pay the unilateral annexation."

Democratic Rep. Jan Shakowski (Illinois State), one of the authors of the four-seat parliament (signed by 200 Democrats) sent to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi last week, warns them against the consequences of annexation by saying: "I agree with Chris [Van Hallen] 100 per cent, I think this is consistent with the position we are taking."

Shakowski, one of the prominent American Jewish political figures, added that no current aid to Israel is expected to be used to support the annexation. She said, "But I agree with Chris [Van Hallen] that we can also make it clear that there are certain places that we don't want aid money to go into, and they actually don't."

Knesset member Ofer Shilieh (the Yesh Atid party), an Israeli opposition member who participated in the meeting, cautioned Democrats in Congress against their threat to link aid to the annexation process, because such a move would be interpreted by the Israelis as punishment.

And he said, "The (American) support should not be part of an attempt to deter annexation," noting that the Israeli public is divided on the issue of guarantee, explaining, "I think that will create a negative reaction in Israel. However, Suleih suggested," if that comes From Washington as a message that really cares about Israel, not a threat, I think it will be the most effective way to stop the annexation and stop Netanyahu from making this decision. "

In a related issue, Jerusalem learned on Wednesday that Tel Aviv and Washington are expected to coordinate their decisions on where and when Israel will implement the annexation and sovereignty plan in the West Bank next week.

The US special envoy for international negotiations, Avi Berkowitz, and Scott Laith, the Palestinian-Israeli affairs coordinator at the National Security Council, returned to Washington after meetings with Netanyahu, Benny Gantz, and Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi, and Berkowitz is expected to present his conclusions from the visit to Jared Kushner, the son-in-law and senior adviser. US President Donald Trump, who will then present the situation to the President.

Trump, who has not been directly involved in Middle East peace issues in recent months, is expected to make his final decision on the issue, which is likely to happen next week.

 

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