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UN Security Council to hold meeting on 'illegal' Israeli annexation plans

Netanyahu's plans have been condemned by the international community [Getty]

Date of publication: 20 June, 2020

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The United Nations will discuss Israel's decision to annex parts of the West Bank, which has been heavily criticised by the international community.
The United Nations announced on Friday that the Security Council will hold a high-level meeting next week to discuss Israel’s annexation plans, which have been widely condemned by the international community.

The news was announced during a press conference at the New York Headquarters of the United Nations.

“Both Security-General [Antonio Guterres] and Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nikolai Miladinov are deeply involved in the issue of Israel’s decision to annex Palestinian lands,” Deputy Spokesperson for the Security-General of the United Nations, Farhan Haq announced.

He noted that Miladinov is expected to provide a statement to the members of the Council on the issue of annexation, and it is very likely that the Secretary-General will inform the members of the Council on this issue.

Netanyahu’s annexation plans have been the topic of condemnation across the world.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson called Israel’s plans to annex parts of the West Bank a “breach of international law”.

Asked in the House of Commons about possible sanctions on Israel over the West Bank settlements, Johnson said: “I believe that what is proposed by Israel would amount to a breach of international law.

"We have strongly objected.

"We believe profoundly in a two-state solution and we will continue to make that case.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to annex Jewish settlements and the Jordan Valley, a move that could scuttle any hopes of a viable Palestinian state.

Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 Mideast war and has built dozens of settlements that are home to over 400,000 Israelis in the decades since. The Palestinians seek the territory as the heartland of a future independent state.

Most of the international community considers Israel’s West Bank settlements illegal under international law.

In the US, three senior pro-Israel senators in the Democratic Party opposed Israel's planned annexation in a joint statement on Friday, signalling a growing consensus against the move among Democrats.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, as well as Senators Bob Menendez and Ben Cardin, said that as "strong and dedicated supporters of the US-Israel relationship", they felt "compelled" to oppose Israel's annexation plans.

The senators called for negotiations that will result in "sustainable peace deal that ensures the long-term security of Israel and self-determination for Palestinians".

"Real diplomacy via direct negotiations, while an arduous road, is the only path for a durable peace," the statement read. "For that reason it has consistently been the long-standing, bipartisan policy in Congress to oppose unilateral action by either side."

Israel's annexation plans could "undermine regional stability and broader US national security interests in the region", the senators said.

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