UN chief condemns Netanyahu’s Jordan Valley annexation plan
UN chief Antonio Guterres warned on Wednesday that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's plan to annex a key part of the occupied West Bank would violate international law.
"Such steps, if implemented, would constitute a serious violation of international law," Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a statement.
"They would be devastating to the potential of reviving negotiations and regional peace, while severely undermining the viability of the two-state solution," he said.
Netanyahu's pledge involves extending Israel's sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea, which account for one-third of the West Bank, if he wins next week's elections.
Palestinian cities like Jericho, which is near the Jordan Valley, will not be annexed.
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 - like Guterres - of disastrous consequences for the stagnant Israeli-Palestinian peace process.