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Netanyahu promises to annex parts of the West Bank

Arab leaders have strongly condemned Benjamin Netanyahu’s latest promise to annex parts of the West Bank, namely, the Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea. [1]

The Israeli Prime Minister made mention of his plans on Tuesday to forcibly acquit these territories and others, as part of his election bid if he wins next week’s snap election.

He said in a speech broadcasted live on Israeli TV channels:

“Today, I announce my intention, after the establishment of a new government, to apply Israeli sovereignty to the Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea.” [2]

According to the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, around 65,000 Palestinians and Israelis reside in the areas mentioned, including in the Palestinian city of Jericho, which contains around 28 villages and several other smaller Bedouin communities. [2]

Though these occupied parts make up 30% of the West Bank, they lie in Area C, putting them under the control of the Israeli military.

Netanyahu’s announcement has put the region on high alert, with some Arab foreign ministers meeting in Cairo to say that the move is a “dangerous development and a new Israeli aggression by declaring the intention to violate the international law” and that these statements have undermined “the chances of any progress in the peace process and will torpedo all its foundations.”

Other countries have released separate statements warning of Netanyahu’s plan. Saudi Arabia called for an emergency meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Jordan, one of the only two Arab states to have a peace treaty with ‘Israel’, called the plan a “serious escalation.” Qatar condemned “Israel’s continued contempt of international law,” while Turkey have called the pledge outright “racist.” [1]

Saeb Erekat, Palestine’s chief negotiator, echoed cries that this move would be illegal by commenting that the proposed annexation would “bury any chance of peace.” [3]

The news has also pushed the president of the Palestinian authority, Mahmoud Abbas, to state that the Palestinians would pull out of any previous agreements signed with the Israeli government if the move went ahead.

“[We maintain] the right to defend our rights and achieve our goals through all available means regardless of the consequences.” [4]

However, the United Nations have stated that the Netanyahu’s aggressive plan to annex parts of the West Bank would hinder the chances of ongoing peace negotiations.

Stéphane Dujarric, the Spokesperson for the United Nations Secretary-General, said:

“Any Israeli decision to impose its laws, jurisdictions and administration in the occupied West Bank is without any international legal effect.”

Source: www.islam21c.com

Notes:

[1] https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/09/netanyahu-annexation-pledge-denounced-dangerous-racist-190911080929932.html

[2] https://www.euronews.com/2019/09/11/eu-reacts-to-netanyahu-s-plans-to-annex-jordan-valley-calls-any-settlement-illegal

[3] https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-49657915

[4] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/sep/11/arab-leaders-denounce-netanyahu-plan-annex-palestinian-territories-israel

About Hamza Saleem

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