TEL AVIV – The Trump administration on Monday issued a denial of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s claim that the U.S. and Israel were in discussions regarding the annexation of West Bank settlements, prompting the Israeli leader to walk back his remarks.
“Reports that the United States discussed with Israel an annexation plan for the West Bank are false,” White House spokesman Josh Raffel said in a statement.
“The United States and Israel have never discussed such a proposal, and the president’s focus remains squarely on his Israeli-Palestinian peace initiative.”
After the White House issued its rebuke, Netanyahu’s office immediately issued a clarification that he had simply “updated the Americans on initiatives being presented in the Knesset.”
“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not present the U.S. administration with specific proposals for West Bank annexation,” an Israeli official speaking on condition of anonymity said before the White House issued its statement.