President Trump is to announce his position on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's plan to annex more parts of the West Bank.
A team of White House officials, which is led by Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner, has been ramping up discussions on the issue ahead of Netanyahu's deadline of 1st July.
According to Trump’s Middle East peace proposal released in January, the US would be willing to recognise Jewish settlements and eventually seek to create a Palestinian state under the umbrella of a larger peace plan. Palestinian leaders have flatly rejected Trump's proposal. Netanyahu is hoping for full US backing for his plan to extend sovereignty over the settlements and the Jordan Valley.
Trump's deliberations come as the United Nations secretary general, António Guterres, openly urged Israel not to pursue annexation. Guterres told the Associated Press that annexation would be "not only against international law but it would be a major factor to destabilise the region".
In addition, more than 1,000 parliamentarians from across Europe have signed a letter calling on Israel to scrap its plans. The letter cited "serious concerns" about the proposals and called for "commensurate consequences". Over 240 of the signatories are politicians in Britain.
The letter argued that a further annexation of the West Bank could prove "fatal to the prospects of Israeli-Palestinian peace and will challenge the most basic norms guiding international relations". It also criticised Trump's plan of granting "permanent Israeli control over a fragmented Palestinian territory" which would leave "Palestinians with no sovereignty and giving a green light to Israel to unilaterally annex significant parts of the West Bank".