Prime Minister Netanyahu Announces Israel Will Not Annex Portions of the West Bank Israelis demonstrate, calling on Netanyahu to annex portions of the West Bank. Photo: Gershon Elinson/ Flash90

Since 2016, Netanyahu’s close alliance with President Trump emboldened his Likud Party base, which endorses applying Israeli sovereignty over portions of the West Bank. Following the release of the Trump administration’s “Peace to Prosperity” initiative in January 2020, Netanyahu seriously debated some form of annexation. Supported by more than 50% of Jewish Israelis, in May 2020, Netanyahu announced his intentions to move forward with annexation plans by July 1. In the month of June, enormous international pressure built up on him to refrain from annexation. It emanated from the EU, US congressional sources, and Arab leaders, especially from Jordan and the UAE. No annexation either took place or was announced. Unknown to the general public was the diplomatic notion cooking between Israel and the UAE that if Israel promised not to annex any lands, the UAE would recognize her.