European lawmakers urge leaders to prevent Israeli annexation

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MORE than 1,000 parliamentarians from 25 European countries on Wednesday signed a letter calling on leaders to stop Israel from carrying out any annexation of parts of the West Bank.

The letter comes ahead of a July 1, set by Israel’s coalition government as the earliest date that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could bring proposals on annexation before the Israeli cabinet or parliament.

The move is expected to be made in coordination with the White House, as part of U.S. President Donald Trump’s Middle East plan, which was presented in January.

The letter, published on Tuesday, laments that the plan “departs from internationally agreed parameters and principles” in the framework of a two-state solution.

It added that it promoted effectively permanent Israeli control over a fragmented Palestinian territory, leaving Palestinians with no sovereignty and giving a green light to Israel to unilaterally annex significant parts of the West Bank.

“We ask European leaders to act decisively in response to this challenge,” parliamentarians said.

According to Trump’s plan, Israel will receive 30 percent of the West Bank. The Palestinians will get a discontinuous state on the remaining 70 percent.

The letter noted that EU High Representative Josep Borrell, said that annexation could not pass unchallenged and asserted that if the step went ahead, it should have commensurate consequences.

Earlier, Netanyahu had presented four annexation scenarios in a meeting with Defence Minister Benny Gantz and Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi.

The report, however, cited an unnamed Israeli official, who said that the plans ranged from annexing 30 percent of the West Bank to a smaller and more symbolic annexation. (dpa/NAN)

– Jun. 24, 2020 @ 15:25 GMT |

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