TEHRAN (Iran News) – Germany and its European partners have “serious concerns” over plans of Israel to annex parts of the occupied West Bank, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said in Al-Quds Wednesday.
Heiko expressed “our honest and serious concerns… about the possible consequences of such a step”.
Israel intends to annex West Bank settlements and the Jordan Valley, with initial steps slated to begin from July 1, the same day Germany takes the rotating EU presidency, AFP wrote.
“Together with the European Union, we believe that annexation would not be compatible with international law,” said Maas, following talks with his Israeli counterpart Gabi Ashkenazi.
The EU instead supports the renewal of Israeli-Palestinian talks to negotiate the so-called two-state solution, the German foreign minister said.
Israeli annexation forms part of a US plan unveiled in January.
It excludes core Palestinian demands such as a capital in East A-Quds and has been rejected by the Palestinian Authority.
Palestinians have sent a counterproposal for the creation of a “sovereign Palestinian state, independent and demilitarized” to the Quartet, made up of the UN, the US, the EU, and Russia, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh said Tuesday.
“We want Israel to feel international pressure,” Shtayyeh said.
Maas is due to travel on to Jordan, from where he will hold a videoconference with Shtayyeh and meet with his Jordanian counterpart Ayman Safadi.
Last month Jordan’s King Abdullah II warned that Israeli annexation risked sparking a “conflict” with his country, speaking to German magazine Der Spiegel.
While Berlin shares Amman’s opposition to annexation, the EU is yet to outline retaliatory measures and sanctions would need the approval of all 27 member states.
Europe holds significant financial clout in Israel as its top business partner, with trade totaling 30 billion euros ($34 billion) last year, according to EU figures.
Some European countries could formally recognize a Palestinian state.
- source : Iran Daily, Irannews