Israel Gearing up to Annex Parts of West Bank
Israel is gearing up to annex parts of the West Bank as soon as July 1st.
Israel’s West Bank annexation plans are in line with President Trump’s Israel-Palestine Peace Plan, unveiled earlier this year. However, Palestine has completely rejected this plan, and while the United States is still working with Israel to achieve it, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the annexation and other plan specifics “are decisions for the Israelis to make”.
Israeli settlements in the West Bank date back to the Six-Day War in 1967, and have remained there til present day. Since then, the United Nations Security Council has ruled “that the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace”. President Trump rejected this ruling late last year, and Israel’s annexation plan looks to legitimatize these settlements as soon as next week.
Israel’s decision to proceed with the annexation has been rejected by neighboring Jordan as well as the United Arab Emirates who oppose the “unilateral Israeli measure to annex lands in the West Bank, as it would undermine the prospects of achieving peace and stability in the Middle East”.
1,008 members of European Parliament also issued a joint statement sharing “serious concerns about President Trump’s plan for the Israeli Palestinian conflict and the imminent prospect of Israeli annexation of West Bank territory”. Similarly, 191 members of the United States House of Representatives signed a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz expressing their “deep concern that the push for unilateral annexation of territory in the West Bank” could create serious problems.