EU refuses to recognise 'illegal' Israeli annexations of West Bank

EU refuses to recognise 'illegal' Israeli annexations of West Bank
The European Union will refuse to recognise Israel's annexations of 'illegal' settlements in the occupied West Bank.
2 min read
14 September, 2019
Israeli settlements are illegal [Getty]
The European Union will refuse to recognise any changes to Israel’s pre-1967 borders, including Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties, the Palestinians and the Israelis.

“The policy of building and expanding settlements, including in East Jerusalem, is illegal under international law, and its continuation undermines the two-State solution and the prospects for lasting peace,” the EU representative office said in a statement on Friday.

This comes after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged to annex the occupied West Bank in a bid for new votes in the upcoming elections.

In his televised speech, Netanyahu reiterated his intention to annex Israeli settlements in the wider West Bank if re-elected.

But he said he would do that in coordination with US President Donald Trump, whose long-awaited peace plan is expected to be unveiled sometime after the vote.

Those moves could effectively kill any remaining hopes for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, long the focus of international diplomacy.

"There is one place where we can apply Israeli sovereignty immediately after the elections," Netanyahu said during the address that included a map of the Jordan Valley on an easel next to him.

"If I receive from you, citizens of Israel, a clear mandate to do so... today I announce my intention to apply with the formation of the next government Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and northern Dead Sea."

Israel captured the West Bank, which is home to nearly three million Palestinians, in the 1967 Arab-Israeli War.

For over 50 years, Israel has refused to comply with UN Security Council resolution 242, which calls for its withdrawal from occupied Palestinian territories.

The pre-election promise late Tuesday drew immediate condemnation from Arab states and entities, as well as Turkey and Russia, with many warning - including United Nations chief, Antonio Guterres - of disastrous consequences for the stagnant Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

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