UN, Arab League issue warning against Israel’s annexation plan
The United Nations and the Arab League have called on Israel to drop its annexation plan
While disclosing this during a virtual meeting of the UN Security Council on Wednesday June 23, 2020, the UN Chief, Antonio Guterres, repeated a call for Israel to drop its United States-backed plans.
Guterres noted that Israel’s plans to annex parts of the occupied West Bank and Jordan Valley will constitute a most serious violation of international law.
“If implemented, the annexation would grievously harm the prospect of a two-state solution and undercut the possibilities of a renewal of negotiations,” the UN secretary-general said.
“I call on the Israeli government to abandon its annexation plans,” he added.
Guterres’s call was supported by other leaders and foreign ministers addressing the virtual meeting, warning that Israel’s unilateral action could trigger a major escalation in the region.
“For three decades, real peace and the creation of an independent Palestinian state, remain elusive.
“Despair is dominating the Palestinian mood and scene,” Arab League Chief, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, said.
Wednesday’s meeting was regarded as the last international one before Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing government starts planned discussions on July 1 over the annexation of the West Bank, territory Israel captured in a 1967 war and that Palestinian leaders seek for a future state.
At the UNSC meeting, Nickolay Mladenov, the UN peace envoy for the Middle East, warned of the legal, security and economic implications of such a move.
“Annexation could irrevocably alter the Israeli-Palestinian relations. It risks upending a quarter of a century of international efforts and support of a future viable Palestinian state,” Mladenov said.
Mladenov noted that international condemnation had also been widespread, including the European Union’s stark opposition to the slated plan.
On Wednesday, more than 1,000 parliamentarians representing 25 European countries signed a letter denouncing Israel’s plans, urging their leaders to prevent the annexation process and save the prospects of a two-state solution.
Palestinian Foreign Minister, Riyad al-Maliki, warned any annexation would be a “crime” and lead to immediate and tangible repercussions.
He said Israel’s objective has for decades been to grab “maximum Palestinian land, with minimum Palestinians”.
“Israel is testing the resolve of the international community, thinking that its colonial apartheid will prevail … We must prove it wrong,” al-Malki told the council, calling on the international community to impose sanctions against Israel to deter its plans.