Samaria Regional Council Chief Yossi Dagan called on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu Sunday to move forward with plans to apply Israeli sovereignty to large swaths of Judea and Samaria as early as this week – even if no agreement can be reached with the Trump administration for a timetable for the move.
In a letter to Netanyahu, Dagan urged the prime minister to extend Israeli sovereignty over Israeli towns in Judea and Samaria at this week’s cabinet meeting, which has been delayed from Sunday, with no new date yet set.
“We all respect US President Donald Trump, who is more favorable to Israel than any of his predecessors,” wrote Dagan. “But, Mr. Prime Minister, we elected you in an Israeli election – we did not elect Trump in the American elections – we did not even elect Jared Kushner,” referring to Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser.
“The State of Israel is not a banana republic. We will not become a tool of the internal political intrigues of the White House,” continued Dagan, following reports of internal dissent within the Trump administration over the timing of Israel actions in Judea and Samaria.
Last Tuesday, President Trump announced that his administration recognized Israel’s right to apply sovereignty to large parts of Judea and Samaria, including all Israeli towns in the area.
The peace plan unveiled that day provides for Israeli sovereignty over roughly 30% of Judea and Samaria, and enables Israel to extend its sovereignty without the signing of a final status agreement with the Palestinian Authority.
The plan does not, however, delineate the precise boundaries of the area to be annexed by Israel, and some US officials, including Kushner, have called on Israel to hold off from applying sovereignty until the US and Israel can draw up a precise map, clearing the way for Israel to extend sovereignty.
Others in the Trump administration, however, have expressed support for immediate Israeli actions, enabling Israel to apply sovereignty to Jewish towns in the area this week, with the remaining areas allotted to Israel to be placed under Israeli sovereignty at a later date.
“Applying sovereignty is the right thing and the strategically-sound thing to do, and that is what Israelis expect of you; that is what you declared in the White House,” wrote Dagan.
“You need to tell the US president: ‘We really respect you, but the State of Israel is a sovereign nation. This is what is good for the State of Israel, this is what our people want. We will apply sovereignty whether you change your minds or not.’”
“This is part of Israel’s existential interest, this is a historic moment, and you, Mr. Prime Minister, you have the merit of carrying it out.”