Netanyahu proposes sovereignty plan September 10th 2019
Netanyahu proposes sovereignty plan September 10th 2019 Hadas Parush/Flash90

The United States has asked Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to keep alive the prospect of a Palestinian state as he considers applying sovereignty in Judea and Samaria, a senior official said Thursday.

Netanyahu's government had set July 1 as the date when it could begin applying Israeli sovereignty over parts of Judea and Samaria, in line with a plan outlined in January by US President Donald Trump.

Trump's plan also lays out the grounds for an independent Palestinian state, although it would be demilitarized.

David Schenker, the top US diplomat for the Middle East, said that Netanyahu was facing domestic pressure as some of his supporters "want annexation but aren't particularly enamored of the vision for peace that calls for a Palestinian state as well."

"So we're calling on the Israelis not to do anything that would preclude the implementation of the vision," Schenker said at the German Marshall Fund of the United States.

He said he was unsure if Netanyahu would ultimately go ahead with the sovereignty plan as he assesses the impact it would have.

"It wouldn't surprise me if we didn't see anything, but I think that the prime minister would like to do something," Schenker said.

Israel has sought US recognition for its sovereignty plan, but Schenker said Israel was aware of the threat of repercussions from European powers as well as strong objections from friendly Arab states.