EU ‘strongly’ urges Israel not to annex West Bank

Unilateral decision would have consequences on EU-Israeli relationship, EU foreign policy chief Borrell says

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BRUSSELS, PALESTINOW.COMEU strongly urges Israel to refrain from the annexation of any occupied Palestinian territory, the bloc’s foreign policy chief said on Thursday.

Josep Borrell was speaking at the plenary session of the European Parliament. (READ: Israel’s annexations plans stoke fears of fresh Gaza conflict)

It would be a “serious violation of international law” if the Israeli government decided unilaterally to annex any parts of the West Bank, he said.

The majority of EU member states can only accept “a negotiated two-state solution, based on international parameters”.

Borrell said he had recently informed the new Israeli ministers on foreign affairs and defense, Gavriel Ashkenazi and Benjamin Gantz on the bloc’s position during a phone call.

“Annexation would inevitably have significant consequences for the close relationship we currently enjoy with Israel,” he pointed out in his speech in the European Parliament.

Borrell also mentioned that such a decision would also negatively affect stability and Isreal’s relationship with countries in the region. (READ: Mobilizing support for Palestine’s freedom)

Encouraged by US President Donald Trump’s “Deal of the Century,” Israeli Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced last month that his government would formally annex the Jordan Valley and all settlement blocs in the West Bank.

The West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is seen as occupied territory under international law, thus making all Jewish settlements there – as well as the planned annexation – illegal.

Palestinian officials have threatened to abolish bilateral agreements with Israel if it goes ahead with the annexation, which would further undermine the two-state solution.

Like Turkey and much of the international community, the European Union does not recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the territories it has occupied since 1967.

Source: Anadolu

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