Prominent Israeli settlers in the West Bank are pushing back against the US Middle East plan. Jordan Valley Regional Council Head David Elhyani has been leading settler opposition to the current plan, saying that he has no choice but to warn Israel about what he sees as a dangerous proposal. Elhyani says he is concerned, not just for the safety of Israeli settlements in the Jordan Valley or other areas of the West Bank, but for the safety of all Israeli citizens. Elhyani’s vocal opposition to the annexation has drawn harsh rebukes from Prime Minister Netanyahu and other right-wing leaders.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared in court for the beginning of his corruption trial early last week, and thus became the country’s first sitting prime minister to go on trial. Netanyahu offered up a lengthy tirade against the nation's justice system—accusing police, prosecutors, judges, and the media of a deep state-type conspiracy to oust him, against the will of the people. Netanyahu faces allegations that he accepted lavish gifts and bribes from media figures in exchange for positive coverage of his administration. He was formally indicted in January, becoming the only prime minister in Israel's history to be indicted while in office. Outside the courthouse, hundreds of supporters rallied in his defense, waving Israeli flags and banners and denouncing what they called a corrupt prosecution. Anti-Netanyahu protesters gathered at his official residence to demonstrate against what they called a “crime minister” and carried posters calling for his resignation. Netanyahu will not be required to attend future hearings during the case, which legal analysts expect to stretch over several years. The next hearing is scheduled for July 19.