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The New Arab Staff

EU recognition of Palestine 'inevitable' if Israel annexes West Bank, officials warn

Israel has occupied the West Bank since 1967 [Getty]

Date of publication: 15 June, 2020

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Luxembourg's foreign minister said the European Union would inevitably recognise Palestine if Israel annexes the West Bank.
The EU may “inevitably” recognise Palestine, if Israel continues with a controversial plan to annex the occupied West Bank, Luxembourg’s foreign minister said.

Speaking to German magazine Der Spiegel, Jean Asselborn called for the EU to take a tougher approach against Israel’s plan to annex parts of the occupied West Bank.

“To simply write reproachful letters would be a humiliation for the EU and would significantly weaken its credibility,” he said.

“The recognition of Palestine. This debate would gain a whole new dynamic, I would even consider it inevitable,” he added, saying it could encourage more international players to follow through with recognition.

“If others were to follow, it would likely achieve much more than economic sanctions,” Asselborn said, urging that the decision would not require a unanimous decision by all member states.

Asselborn urged that Israel’s move is the same as Russia’s move to illegally annex Crimea.

Read also: Remembering 72 years of the Nakba in the shadow of annexation

“I see no difference at all. An annexation is an annexation. It is a gross violation of international law,” he said.

Illegal occupation greenlighted by Trump

Israel's plans to annex approximately one third of the West Bank was greenlighted by US President Donald Trump's so-called "Deal of the Century". The plan also envisages the creation of a severely restricted Palestinian state.

Israel has occupied the West Bank illegally since 1967, and commits various abuses against Palestinian civilians, human rights groups say.

More than 600,000 Israeli Jews live in settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, in constructions considered illegal under international law.

Israeli forces and settlers routinely harass Palestinians in the occupied territories through harming and killing civilians, demolishing homes, poisoning livestock, vandalising property as well as other forms of violence. 

Israel could begin implementing annexations as soon as 1 July.

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