Netanyahu contests Kushner's claim on surprising Trump with annexation

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Benjamin Netanyahu stands at his podium ahead of a press conference with Jared Kushner (L) in Jerusalem on December 21, 2020.
RONEN ZVULUN / X90084 / AFPBenjamin Netanyahu stands at his podium ahead of a press conference with Jared Kushner (L) in Jerusalem on December 21, 2020.

'The allegation that Netanyahu surprised Trump... is completely false," says a Netanyahu spokesperson

Israel's Opposition Leader Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday denied claims in Jared Kushner's upcoming memoir that his plans to annex West Bank settlements were not coordinated with former US president Donald Trump's administration.

Trump's son-in-law Kushner, who served as a senior advisor in the White House during Trump's tenure, wrote in "Breaking History: A White House Memoir" that the former US president was surprised by Netanyahu's statements on annexation that followed Trump's "Vision for Peace" presentation in January 2020. 

Kushner claims in his book that Netanyahu's speech embarrassed Trump, recalling the former president telling him: “Bibi gave a campaign speech. I feel dirty,” referring to Netanyahu by his nickname.

However, Netanyahu claims that he let Trump know of his plans before the unveiling of the peace plan. 

“The allegation that (then) prime minister Netanyahu surprised Jared Kushner and president Trump by announcing Israel’s intention to apply Israeli law to the 30 percent of Judea and Samaria envisioned in the Trump plan as sovereign Israeli territory is completely false,” a spokesperson for Netanyahu said, using the biblical term for the West Bank used by many Israeli politicians. 

The statement continues that "on the basis of these understandings, painstakingly negotiated over several months," Netanyahu “came to Washington to accept the Trump peace plan."

“Thus, the charge that... Netanyahu surprised the president and his staff with an uncoordinated announcement on moving forward with sovereignty, and that such an announcement subverted the peace plan, is utterly baseless," the statement concluded.

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