US official: We're ready to recognize Israeli application of sovereignty

State Dept. spokesperson: US would be ready to recognize Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria but negotiations with PA also required.

Elad Benari ,

US State Department
US State Department

A State Department spokesperson indicated on Monday that the US would be ready to recognize an Israeli application of sovereignty over Judea and Samaria but asked that Israel’s new unity government also negotiate with Palestinian Arabs.

"As we have made consistently clear, we are prepared to recognize Israeli actions to extend Israeli sovereignty and the application of Israeli law to areas of the West Bank that the vision foresees as being part of the State of Israel," the spokesperson said, according to AFP.

The step would be "in the context of the Government of Israel agreeing to negotiate with the Palestinians along the lines set forth in President Trump's Vision," she said, referring to President Donald Trump’s peace plan which was unveiled in January and is also known as the “Deal of the Century”.

The comments follow the agreement on a unity government between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Blue and White chairman Benny Gantz, which states that the government could apply sovereignty to parts of Judea and Samaria this coming July.

Trump’s Middle East plan would allow Israel to apply sovereignty over areas of Judea and Samaria and the Jordan Valley, while Palestinian Arabs would be granted a sovereign but demilitarized state along with promises of major investment.

"This is an unprecedented and highly beneficial opportunity for the Palestinians," the State Department spokesperson said on Monday.

Her comments follow remarks made last week by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who said that application of sovereignty was ultimately "an Israeli decision."

The Palestinian Authority (PA) was outraged by Pompeo’s remarks, with PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ spokesman saying that the US has no right to decide the fate of “Palestinian lands”.

Meanwhile, the Arab League said on Monday it would hold a virtual meeting this week to discuss Israel’s sovereignty plan.