Israeli minister hints immediate annexation action unlikely
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Israel is unlikely to take imminent action to annex West Bank settlements, a member of Prime Minister Benjamin NetanyahuBenjamin (Bibi) NetanyahuMORE’s Cabinet said Tuesday.

Zeev Elkin, Israel’s Minister of Higher Education and Minister of Water Resources, said the country has yet to receive Washington’s OK on annexing parts of the territory, Reuters reported.

Netanyahu previously said in a speech he had discussed “the sovereignty question” in a meeting with U.S. Ambassador David Friedman and White House adviser Avi Berkowitz.

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“We are working on it in these very days and will continue working on it in the coming days,” he said, according to Reuters.

Elkin downplayed the idea that the process would begin by July 1, the day Cabinet debate is scheduled to begin.

“Whoever painted a picture of everything happening in one day on July 1, did so at their own risk,” Elkin told Army Radio, according to Reuters. “From tomorrow, the clock will start ticking.”

No Cabinet meeting is slated for Wednesday.

The U.S. proposal, which President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden adds to vote margin over Trump after Milwaukee County recount Krebs says allegations of foreign interference in 2020 election 'farcical'  Republicans ready to become deficit hawks again under a President Biden MORE announced in January, would give Israel, which has built settlements on the West Bank for decades despite condemnation from most world powers, sovereignty over about 30 percent of the territory.

Although the plan includes creation of a Palestinian state, Palestinian representatives have said the proposal would make their desired state unviable, according to Reuters. Most European powers, as well as the United Nations, have joined Palestinian leaders in denouncing the proposed annexation. Netanyahu, meanwhile, is at odds on the annexation issue with Defense Minister Benny Gantz, with whom he formed a rotating coalition government in April.