A file picture of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (L) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (AFP Photo)

???????US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in Palestine’s Israeli-occupied territories on Wednesday to hold talks about the Israeli regime's plans to annex parts of the occupied West Bank.

Iran Press/Middle East: He was to meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and incoming Defense Minister Benny Gantz, a day before a unity government agreed between the two men is due to be sworn in.

Pompeo wore a red, white and blue protective face mask when he landed at Ben-Gurion airport near Tel Aviv for his first trip abroad in nearly two months amid the COVID-19 pandemic, AFP reported.

In what the US embassy in Jerusalem called a "cautionary" measure, Pompeo will not meet ambassador David Friedman, who was said by an embassy spokesman to be displaying "mild upper respiratory symptoms" although he had tested negative for the novel coronavirus.

Netanyahu and Gantz faced off in three inconclusive elections in less than a year before agreeing to a three-year power-sharing administration.

Netanyahu, a right-winger in power since 2009, will serve as premier for 18 months with Gantz, a former army chief, as his alternate, after the latter resigned as the Parliament Speaker on Tuesday in preparation for his new role. The two will swap posts midway through the deal.

Their coalition agreement says the Israeli regime can from July 1 begin considering implementing the West Bank annexations detailed in President Donald Trump's Middle East peace plan.

Unveiled in January, the controversial plan gives a green light from Washington for Israel to annex Jewish settlements and other strategic West Bank territory.

The Palestinians have rejected Trump's plan and cut ties with the Trump administration in 2017 over its pro-Israeli regime stance.


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