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World Israel undeterred by international opposition to annexation

09:30  30 june  2020
09:30  30 june  2020 Source:   msn.com

UN and Arab League united to ask Israel to abandon its annexation plans

 UN and Arab League united to ask Israel to abandon its annexation plans © Michael Tewelde, AFP United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres at a press conference on February 8, 2020 in Addis -Abeba. The UN and the Arab League on Wednesday asked Israel to abandon its plans to annex the West Bank, which could "put an end to international efforts in favor of the creation of a viable Palestinian state".

International opposition has mounted in the past few weeks, with Palestinian leaders, the United Nations, European powers and Arab countries allied with Israel all denouncing any annexation of land that Israeli forces captured in a 1967 war. The United Nations’ top human rights official

International opposition has mounted in the past few weeks, with Palestinian leaders, the United Nations, European powers and Arab countries allied with Israel all denouncing any annexation of land that Israeli forces captured in a 1967 war. The United Nations’ top human rights official

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appears determined to carry out his pledge to begin annexing parts of the occupied West Bank, possibly as soon as Wednesday.

This Monday, June 29, 2020 photo shows the Israeli settlement of Maale Adumim, in the West Bank. The U.N.'s human rights chief Michelle Bachelet said that Israel's plan to begin annexing parts of the occupied West Bank would have © Provided by Associated Press This Monday, June 29, 2020 photo shows the Israeli settlement of Maale Adumim, in the West Bank. The U.N.'s human rights chief Michelle Bachelet said that Israel's plan to begin annexing parts of the occupied West Bank would have "disastrous" consequences for the region, issuing her dire warning as senior U.S. and Israeli officials were meeting in Jerusalem trying to finalize the move. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

His vision of redrawing the map of the Holy Land, in line with President Donald Trump’s Mideast plan, has been welcomed by Israel’s religious and nationalist right wing and condemned by the Palestinians and the international community.

Annexation of parts of the West Bank: a "declaration of war" for Hamas

 Annexation of parts of the West Bank: a © Provided by Le Point The Palestinian armed movement Hamas warned on Thursday that an annexation by Israel of parts of the occupied West Bank would constitute a "declaration of war", after the UN has warned of the risks of such a project. These remarks come in a climate of fears with the approach of July 1, the date from which the Israeli government must decide on the implementation of the American plan for the Middle East.

When asked to explain how thousands came to protest the annexation , one man answered people came because they had nothing better to do that day. Ghassan Khatib, an academic and former PA official, told the news wire that the apathy surrounding the prospect of annexation demonstrates a

Their row comes amid mounting international pressure to Israel ’s annexation plan. However, other pro-settler figures have also voiced opposition to the annexation plan with David Elhayani, who chairs the Yesha Council representing settlers, describing it on Israel ’s Army Radio this month as like being

But with opponents offering little more than condemnations, there seems little to prevent Netanyahu from embarking on a plan that could permanently alter the Mideast landscape.

Here’s a closer look at annexation:

WHY ANNEXATION, AND WHY NOW?

Israel’s right wing has long favored annexing parts or all of the West Bank, saying the territory is vital for the country’s security and an inseparable part of the biblical Land of Israel. But most of the world considers the West Bank, captured by Israel from Jordan in the 1967 Mideast war, to be occupied territory, and Israel’s dozens of settlements, now home to nearly 500,000 Jewish Israelis, as illegal.

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Most countries view Israel 's settlements as illegal, and the Palestinians have voiced outrage at annexation . There are also concerns about opposition from Jordan, one of only two countries that have a peace treaty with Israel , and from Gulf states that have quietly expanded engagement with

International opposition has mounted in the past few weeks, with Palestinian leaders, the United Nations, European powers and Arab countries allied with Israel all denouncing any annexation of land that Israeli forces captured in a 1967 war. The United Nations' top human rights official

Surrounded by a team of settler allies, Trump has upended U.S. policy, recognizing contested Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, recognizing Israel’s 1981 annexation of the Golan Heights and announcing that Jewish settlements are not illegal.

Seeking to court hard-line voters on the campaign trail, Netanyahu last year began talking about annexation. After Trump released his Mideast plan in January envisioning permanent Israeli control over 30% of the West Bank, including all of Israel’s settlements and the strategic Jordan Valley region, Netanyahu quickly jumped on board. Israel and the U.S. have formed a joint committee to map out precisely which areas Israel can keep.

Middle East: Netanyahu's project to annex the territories in the West Bank worried

 Middle East: Netanyahu's project to annex the territories in the West Bank worried This week, the Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu should announce the details of his project to annex the occupied territories of the West Bank © MANDEL NGAN / AFP President of the United States Donald Trump with the Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu during the announcement of the "peace plan" on January 28, 2020.

“The plan is to apply Israeli law to Israeli communities, not annexation or sovereignty.” But Erekat, a longtime peace negotiator whose nephew was shot dead last week by Israeli forces after his car rammed into a military checkpoint, said annexation would spell the end of his vision for peace and

If Israel presses ahead with annexations in the occupied West Bank, it risks undermining improved ties with key Arab states and alienating European powers The possible scope of international backlash against the Jewish state is unclear, as it is not yet known what action Israel plans to take towards

Netanyahu made sure that under the coalition agreement, he can bring a proposal to the new government anytime after July 1. He appears eager to move forward before the November presidential election, possibly with a limited move billed as a first stage, especially with Trump’s re-election prospects in question.

WHY IS THERE SO MUCH OPPOSITION?

The Palestinians seek the entire West Bank as the heartland of a future independent state and believe the Trump plan would deliver a fatal blow to their fading hopes of statehood.

Among the plan’s components: The Palestinians would only have limited autonomy in a fraction of territory they seek. Isolated Israeli settlements deep inside Palestinian territory would remain intact, and the Israeli military would retain overall security control over the Palestinian entity.

The international community has invested billions of dollars in promoting a two-state solution since the interim Oslo peace accords of the 1990s. The U.N. secretary general, the European Union and leading Arab countries have all said that Israeli annexation would violate international law and greatly undermine the prospects for Palestinian independence.

Palestinians ready for direct negotiations with Israel

 Palestinians ready for direct negotiations with Israel © MAHMUD HAMS Demonstration against the Israeli plan to annex sections of the occupied West Bank, organized by the Islamist movement Hamas, on June 17, 2020 in Gaza Fiercely opposed to the American plan for the In the Middle East, the Palestinians say they are ready to reopen direct negotiations with the Israelis, according to a text given to the Quartet (European Union, UN, Russia and United States) and consulted Monday by AFP.

Many EU countries have expressed strong opposition to Israel ’s intention to annex up to 30 percent of the West Bank from July 1, yet the bloc needs a consensus of all 27 members to impose However, the Belgian parliament is the first in the EU to officially call for sanctions over the planned annexation .

“While reiterating its principled opposition to annexation , and stating that such action is illegal, the UK has consistently failed to outline how it will meaningfully Nandy said the proposal to annex nearly a third of the West Bank would undermine the prospects for a peaceful two-state solution for Israel and

WILL ANYTHING CHANGE ON THE GROUND?

Not immediately. Israel has controlled the entire West Bank for more than 50 years. Palestinians will remain in their towns and villages, while Israelis will live in their newly annexed settlements. The Palestinian Authority is protesting annexation but has ruled out any kind of violent response.

But over time, there is a larger risk of conflict.

Netanyahu has said he opposes granting citizenship to Palestinians living on annexed lands, presumably because it would undercut Israel's Jewish majority. But failing to grant equal rights to Palestinians in annexed areas opens Israel up to charges of establishing an apartheid system that would draw heavy international condemnation.

Palestinians who are not living on annexed lands could face other challenges. Moving between Palestinian population centers — or even reaching their own properties and farmlands — could become difficult if they have to cross through Israeli territory. Critics say that Israel could also use its sovereignty to expropriate Palestinian lands.

The Palestinian Authority has already cut off its ties with Israel to protest the looming annexation. In the absence of any peace prospects, the Palestinian Authority could see its international funding dry up or decide to close.

Project for annexation in the West Bank: the difficult American equation of Netanyahu

 Project for annexation in the West Bank: the difficult American equation of Netanyahu © Sebastian Scheiner / Pool via REUTERS Benjamin Netanyahu, June 14, 2020. The Israeli Prime Minister can theoretically, from this July 1, try to put implement its plans to annex part of the Palestinian Territories. This will builds on the plan presented by the US administration last January to try to end the conflict in the Middle East. But this administration is today divided.

The collapse of the authority could force Israel, as an occupying power, to pick up the tab for governing the Palestinians. In the long term, it could lead to Palestinian and international calls to establish a single binational state with voting rights for all — a scenario that could spell the end of Israel as a Jewish-majority state.

WHY DOESN'T THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY STOP THIS?

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said annexation would mark a “most serious violation of international law.” The EU’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, has warned of “significant consequences.” Jordan and Egypt, the only Arab states at peace with Israel, have condemned the annexation plan. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, powerful Arab players with informal relations with Israel, have said warming ties will be in danger.

But Israel and the U.S. appear to be banking on the international community’s poor record of translating rhetoric into concrete action. Days after the UAE warned Israel against annexation, for instance, two Emirati companies reached cooperation deals with Israeli partners in the fight against the coronavirus.

Thanks to the U.S. veto over U.N. Security Council decisions, international sanctions appear to be out of the question. Divisions within the EU make concerted European reaction unlikely as well.

Individual countries might seek to impose limited sanctions against Israel, and the International Criminal Court in the Hague could take annexation into account as it weighs whether to launch a war crimes investigation into Israeli policies.

CAN ANYTHING STOP ANNEXATION?

The biggest obstacle to Netanyahu appears to be from within. U.S. officials say they are unlikely to allow Israel to move forward unless Netanyahu and his coalition partner, Defense Minister Benny Gantz, are in agreement.

Gantz, a former military chief and bitter rival of Netanyahu, has said Israel should move carefully and in coordination with regional partners. Gantz laid the groundwork for further delays Monday when he said his top priority is guiding the country through the coronavirus crisis.

“Anything unrelated to the battle against the coronavirus will wait,” he said.

Ironically, some hard-line settler leaders have also opposed the plan, saying they cannot accept any program that envisions a Palestinian state.

If the issue remains frozen, time could run out on Netanyahu. The presumptive Democratic nominee, Joe Biden, has said he opposes annexation. A Biden victory in November could mean that any Israeli annexation will be short-lived.

Fatah and Hamas "united" against the Israeli project of annexation in the West Bank .
© Provided by Le Point The Palestinian enemy brothers of Fatah and Hamas pledged Thursday to "unity" against the Israeli project annexation of swathes of the occupied West Bank, after more than a decade of internal divisions. At a rare joint press conference, secular Fatah and Islamist Hamas, respectively in power in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, said they wanted to open "a new page".

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