UN Chief Urges Israel to Abandon Annexation Plan of West Bank

PALESTINE - ISRAEL, 29 Jun 2020

teleSUR - TRANSCEND Media Service

“This would be calamitous for Palestinians, Israelis and the region,” Guterres said.

In a report to the UNSC, Guterres said an Israeli annexation would be “devastating” for hopes of negotiations.
| Photo: AFP

23 Jun 2020 – United Nations Chief Antonio Guterres urged Israel today to call off its plans to annex parts of the illegally occupied West Bank, declaring that such a move would be a “most serious violation of international law.”

In a report to the U.N. Security Council, Guterres said an Israeli annexation would be “devastating” for hopes of negotiations and an eventual two-state solution. The document was sent to the Council one day before the body’s meeting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“This would be calamitous for Palestinians, Israelis and the region,” Guterres said.

The government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has planned to begin the annexation process from July 1, as part of a so-called “peace plan” presented by U.S. President Donald Trump.

The Security Council meeting, to be held Wednesday by video conference, will be the last major international meeting on the issue before the July 1 deadline.

Diplomats expect a vast majority of U.N. members to again oppose the Israeli plans, but they seem to rule out the idea that Israel could face sanctions, as it was the case for Russia after the annexation of Crimea.

“Any annexation would have quite big consequences for the two-state solution in the peace process,” an ambassador told AFP on condition of anonymity.

But the envoy said it was not a “simple task” to compare the West Bank with Crimea.

Earlier this month, Palestine’s leadership made a counter-proposal to Trump’s plan, proposing the establishment of a demilitarised and sovereign Palestinian state in the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem, and besieged Gaza.

RELATED: Netanyahu Doubted Kushner’s Ability to Lead Peace Plan: Bolton

The Palestinian proposal also allows the possibility of adapting the borders between the proposed state and Israel, as well as exchanging land equal “in size and volume and in value,” Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh had said.

Trump’s plan, in turn, consents to Israel’s annexation of large parts of the occupied West Bank, including illegal settlements and the Jordan Valley.

Announced in late January, it grants Palestinians a disjointed and demilitarised entity with a capital on the outskirts of Jerusalem, while the disputed city would remain fully under Israeli sovereignty.

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