Israeli settler leader: 'Kushner took a knife and put it in Netanyahu's back'

An Israeli settler leader and supporter of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin NetanyahuBenjamin (Bibi) NetanyahuMORE accused senior White House adviser Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerTrump leans on businesses in coronavirus response Trump speaks with network service providers on coronavirus response Stockpile of US-manufactured ventilators sold overseas: report MORE of betraying the prime minister by slowing down the annexation of the West Bank.

David Elhayani, the chairman of the Yesha Council that manages more than 150 settlements, condemned Kushner for misleading Netanyahu after he endorsed President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden campaign: Trump and former vice president will have phone call about coronavirus Esper: Military personnel could help treat coronavirus patients 'if push comes to shove' Schumer calls for military official to act as medical equipment czar MORE’s Middle East peace plan, The Washington Post reported

“Kushner took a knife and put it in Netanyahu’s back,” he told The Washington Post. “Kushner misled the prime minister. He misled everybody. He knew for a long time that Netanyahu wanted to declare sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and northern Dead Sea — he said it many times over the last year. Gentlemen just don’t act this way.”

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Elhayani continued saying that Kushner, Trump's son-in-law, may cost the prime minister the March 2 election if he pushes back on annexing the settlements right away. 

The settler leader said a senior U.S. official told them that if the Palestinians didn’t agree to the plan within 48 hours, Israel would be permitted to annex more than 30 percent of the West Bank.

“But something happened after that; they changed their minds,” he said, according to the Post.

Kushner has told reporters, and allegedly Israeli officials, that the annexation should wait until after the election and a new government is formed, the Post reported. 

After Netanyahu appeared with Trump as the plan was unveiled last month, the prime minister told reporters he wanted to bring annexation to a vote within days at the next Cabinet meeting, but no meeting has taken place since he returned. 

U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman initially supported the prime minister, saying the timing of the vote was Israel’s choice, but later backtracked and said the annexation would require an American-Israeli committee.

Netanyahu is facing his third election in a year after failing to form a new government after two previous elections. He also has been indicted in corruption cases and could face a public trial.

Updated: Feb. 5, 4:41 p.m.