TEHRAN (Iran News) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson cautioned Israel on Wednesday against annexation in the occupied West Bank, saying it would illegal.
“Annexation would represent a violation of international law,” Johnson said in an opinion piece in Hebrew for Yedioth Ahronoth, top-selling daily in Israel, echoing remarks he made in Parliament last month.
“So it is with sadness that I have followed the proposals to annex Palestinian territory,” he added.
Johnson said the plan cannot bring about the desired results and would be “contrary to Israel’s own long-term interests”.
July 1 was set as the date from which Israel could begin implementing US President Donald Trump’s controversial Middle East peace proposal, which paves the way for annexations of West Bank settlements and potentially the Jordan Valley.
However, the much-publicized scheme has not gone exactly as planned as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s key coalition partner Benny Gantz and a group of US lawmakers have signaled their opposition to the move.
On Monday, Gantz, who heads the Blue and White party, suggested that the plan should be postponed while Israel was dealing with the coronavirus outbreak.
Also on the same day, a group of US lawmakers voiced concerns about the plan, calling for using a “combination of pressure and incentives” to prevent it, including imposing conditions on American military aid to Israel.
Under the peace blueprint that Trump announced in January, Israel has said it intends to extend its sovereignty to Israeli settlements and the Jordan Valley in the West Bank, in up to 30 percent of the territory.
Palestinians, who have rejected the Trump proposal, seek to establish a state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, with East Al-Quds as its capital. Israel captured those areas in a 1967 war and withdrew soldiers and settlers from Gaza in 2005.
Palestinian leaders, the United Nations, European powers, and Arab countries have all denounced annexation and consider settlements that Israel has built on occupied land as illegal.
Palestinian people and activists spilled out into the streets in the Gaza Strip to make their voices heard against Israel’s annexation scheme, heeding a call by Gaza-based Palestinian resistance groups to stage “Day of Rage” rallies on Wednesday.
Speaking on Tuesday, Netanyahu said discussions with the US on the plan would continue “in the coming days.”
Johnson said, “I profoundly hope that annexation does not go ahead,” warning, “If it does, the UK will not recognize any changes to the 1967 lines, except those agreed between both parties.”
Reuters and Press TV contributed to this story.
- source : Iran Daily, Irannews