Israel’s reply lasts: “No Palestinian propaganda will change the strong and undeniable link between the Jewish people and our historic homeland of Judea and Samaria,” retorts the Israeli ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, during the virtual meeting of the Security Council on the Middle East. “Some members of the international community choose to reward the refusal of the Palestinians and ignore the reality – he added – the approach of blindly accepting the Palestinian narrative and demands has not led and will not lead to a lasting and sustainable end to the conflict”.
Palestinians reject Israel’s annexation “even of a single inch of the occupied Palestinian lands” as they oppose the so-called ‘Agreement of the century’ and other Israeli-American plans connected to it: the president of the Palestinian National Authority Abu Mazen, quoted by the official Wafa news agency. If Israel proceeded with the annexation anyway, he added, it would then have to shoulder all responsibilities towards the occupied territories, as stipulated by the Fourth Geneva Convention. In a video conference of the Arab Parliament, Abu Mazen reiterated that the PA’s decision to detach itself from all agreements with Israel “does not mean that we do not want peace, but that we extend our hand of peace and are ready to participate in a international conference and to work through a multinational mechanism, namely the Quartet (USA, EU, Russia and UN, ed.), to proceed in negotiations based on international law and the Arab peace initiative “of the early 2000s.
The UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres he hoped that Israel would renounce its plans to annex parts of the West Bank by denouncing its “very serious violation of international law”. The Israeli media said that annexation for Guterres would be “devastating” for a resumption of negotiations and for the 2-state solution. “I appeal to Israel to abandon its annexation plans,” he said, explaining that the move “threatens efforts to advance regional peace.”
Indeed, the UN and the Arab League have launched a joint appeal to Israel to abandon plans to annex parts of the occupied West Bank during a video conference meeting of the Security Council. “I ask the Israeli government to abandon the annexation plans,” said Guterres, reiterating the goal of a two-state solution. Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit stressed that annexation “will destroy any prospect of peace in the future”. “The possible move by the Israeli government would pose a serious threat to regional stability if implemented,” he added. The Council meeting was the last before the scheduled annexation date of July 1st.
The annexation of parts of the West Bank “is a decision that falls to Israel” says the US secretary of state instead Mike Pompeo.
The UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov, spoke of “immense risks that we will have to face in the coming weeks and months with the real possibility of annexation and its consequences”. “As the prospect of a two-state solution is reduced, the specter of anger, radicalization and violence emerges – he said during a virtual meeting of the Security Council. Beyond the legal, security and economic implications, the threat of unilateral annexation of parts of the West Bank will send a single message, that bilateral negotiations cannot bring about just peace. We cannot allow that to happen, “he added:” Diplomacy must have a chance. ” “This is why I ask you to join the Secretary General in his request for an immediate, unconditional re-engagement between the Quartet, the Palestinian leadership, Israel and the countries of the region in order to find a way out of the crisis. “Mladenov said, reiterating that” only by working together can we restore meaningful dialogue and improve the stability and conditions of the people “.
“We must talk to the Palestinians, start negotiations, change the situation, otherwise we will remain trapped in this endless war forever”, is the appeal launched by the Israeli writer who won the Hemingway 2020 Prize for literature David Grossman.
“I am extremely concerned by the persistent stalemate in the Middle East peace negotiations and by the announcement by the Israeli authorities of the plan to annex large parts of the Palestinian lands in the West Bank and Jordan Valley from 1 July,” said Rik Deams, president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, in which Israelis and Palestinians also sit.
Two thirds of Palestinians are convinced that Israel will extend its sovereignty over parts of the West Bank in the context of the Trump Plan. The appropriate reaction to such a development – according to 71% – is to cease the application of the Oslo agreements (1993) and to break off all relations with Israel. 61% are in favor of “peaceful resistance” to thwart Israeli plans. These are some of the data that emerged in a survey carried out in the West Bank and Gaza by the ‘PSR’ Center for Political Studies by Khalil Shkaki. The poll found that almost all Palestinians (88%) are opposed to the Trump Plan and two thirds think that the two-state solution is no longer achievable “because of Israeli settlements”.
Meanwhile, the killing of a young Palestinian yesterday at a military checkpoint east of Jerusalem sparked yet another tension between Israel and the Palestinian National Authority.