Israeli annexation plans ‘violate international law’
July 08 2020 01:20 AM
Palestinian supporters burn effigies (unseen) depicting US President Donald Trump, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, during a demonstration against Israel’s plans to annex parts of the occupied West Bank, in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, yesterday.


The foreign ministers of Egypt, Germany, France and Jordan issued a stark warning to Israel yesterday against annexing Palestinian land in the West Bank.
“We concur that any annexation of Palestinian territories occupied in 1967 would be a violation of international law and imperil the foundations of the peace process,” the top diplomats said in a joint statement, after participating in a video conference together.
A planned Israeli annexation is expected to be based on US President Donald Trump’s Middle East plan, which Palestinians have furiously rejected.
Under the US proposal, Israel would get sovereignty over some 30% of the West Bank, which Israel has occupied since 1967.
The Palestinians would be left with a discontiguous state on the remaining 70%. It is unclear exactly how much of the territory Israel now seeks to annex.
“We would not recognise any changes to the 1967 borders that are not agreed by both parties in the conflict,” the four ministers said. “We also concur that such a step would have serious consequences for the security and stability of the region, and would constitute a major obstacle to efforts aimed at achieving a comprehensive and just peace.”
The Egyptian, German, French and Jordanian foreign ministers warned that an annexation would “have consequences for the relationship with Israel.”
They reiterated their commitment to the two-state solution based on international law and relevant UN resolutions. The four countries also offered their support in facilitating further negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.
The Palestinian Authority announced yesterday that it was prolonging a lockdown in the occupied West Bank for five days following a spike in coronavirus infections, AFP reported.
The lockdown, which began on Friday, will be extended until Sunday evening, Palestinian government spokesman Ibrahim Melhem said.
More than 4,570 people have tested positive for Covid-19 since the illness was first recorded in the West Bank and 17 have died, according to the Palestinian health ministry. A week ago those figures stood at 2,356 cases and five deaths. The Palestinian Authority imposed a full West Bank lockdown after the first coronavirus cases were identified in early March, lifting it at the end of May. Tens of thousands of West Bank Palestinians travel to work as day labourers.
Palestinian prime minister Mohamed Shtayyeh on Monday called on Israel to close crossings because of the spike in cases. Israel has reported more than 31,270 cases of the virus and over 330 deaths.

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