On Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a conference call with Jared Kushner, US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, US Middle East envoy Avi Berkowitz, US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman and Israeli Ambassador to Washington Ron Dermer.
“The call was cordial and productive,” a senior White House official said. “We do not comment on the substance of private diplomatic conversations.”
Israel’s Channel 13 TV, however, quoted unnamed American sources as saying that US officials were exploring precisely if and how Israel intended to proceed with its unilateral annexation plan and came away from the conversations without a definitive answer.
The report further cited a senior Israeli source as saying that the Americans “want to downplay the enthusiasm” for imminent annexation — “to greatly slow the process” — because the Trump administration is preoccupied, among other matters, with nationwide anti-racism protests as well as the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the accompanying economic fallout.