Netanyahu’s annexation plan an aggression: Arabs
Arab foreign ministers condemned a plan by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to annex parts of the occupied West Bank as “aggression” undermining any chances of a peace setlement with the Palestinians.
Netanyahu said he planned to annex the Jordan Valley, a large swathe of the occupied West Bank, if he wins a closely contested election just a week away.
Th eu a eh as expressed its strong condemnation and categorical rejection of an announcement by Netanyahu on the planned annexation of land from the occupied West Bank to Israel in the event of an election win.
Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, stated that this announcement represents a dangerous escalation that violates all international resolutions without the slightest regard for their legitimacy by undermining the noble intentions of those in the international community working towards a peaceful resolution to the palestinian issue.
Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed underscored that this declaration threatens to undermine decades of political efforts by the international community to achieve a fair and just resolution to the Palestinian issue, emphasizing the mater’s centrality to Arabs and Muslims.
Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed affirmed the UAE’S welcoming and immediate response to calls by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to convene an emergency meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation to discuss this dangerous escalation and develop an urgent plan of action, adding that addressing this declaration by PM Netanyahu is a shared responsibility that requires the international community to take necessary action against this alarming development.
Israel captured the West Bank in a 1967 war and Palestinians, who signed interim peace deals with Israel in the 1990s that include security cooperation, seek to make it part of a future state.
The Arab League “considers his announcement a dangerous development and a new Israeli aggression by declaring the intention to violate the international law,” Arab foreign ministers said in a statement ater a meeting in Cairo. “The league regards these statements as undermining the chances of any progress in the peace process and will torpedo all its foundations,” the statement said.
Arab foreign ministers had been holding a meeting in Cairo, seat of the Arab League, but added an emergency session ater Netanyahu made his comments on live television.
Around 65,000 Palestinians and 11,000 Israeli settlers live in the Jordan Valley and northern Dead Sea area, according to the Israeli human rights group B’tselem. The main Palestinian city is Jericho, with around 28 villages and smaller Bedouin communities.
Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi on Twiter called Netanyahu’s plan a “serious escalation”. Jordan and Egypt are the only Arab states to have peace treaties with Israel.
Hanan Ashrawi, a senior official in the Palestine Liberation Organization, wrote on Twiter that the Israeli leader was out to impose a “greater Israel on all of historical Palestine and (carry) out an ethnic cleansing agenda”.
Fighting for his political life ater an inconclusive election in April, Netanyahu also reaffirmed a pledge to annex all of the settlements Israel has established in the West Bank.
White House senior adviser Jared Kushner said in early May that he hoped Israel would take a hard look at President Donald Trump’s upcoming Middle East peace proposal before “proceeding with any plan” to annex West Bank settlements.
Saudi Arabia condemned Netanyahu’s comments and called for an emergency meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, state news agency SPA said.
Palestinians tilling the fertile Jordan Valley said they have been rooted for generations to the West Bank land that Netanyahu plans to annex, and they vowed never to give it up. “We tell Netanyahu, and whoever follows him, you will not break the Palestinians’ will, you will never break our will, never, never,” said Hassan Al-abedi, a 55-year-old farmer who lives in the village of Jitlik.
“It’s our parents’ and grandparents’ land. We will hold onto it no mater what it costs.” Drawing condemnation from Palestinian and other Arab leaders, the right-wing Netanyahu announced on Tuesday that he plans to “apply Israeli sovereignty” to the Jordan Valley and adjacent northern Dead Sea if he prevails in what is shaping up as a tough batle for re-election on Sept. 17.
UAE expressed its strong condemnation and categorical rejection of the announcement by the Israeli PM on the planned annexation of land. Sheikh Abdullah said it threatens to undermine decades of political effort by the world community.
↑ Israeli workers demolish Palestinian homes in the village of Mufagara, south of Yatta, near Hebron, West Bank, on Wednesday.