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Arab Group slams Israel’s ‘illegal’ plans to annex West Bank

Ahram Online , Thursday 7 May 2020
Arab Foreign Ministers take part in their 153rd annual session at the Arab League headquarters in th
Arab Foreign Ministers take part in their 153rd annual session at the Arab League headquarters in the Egyptian capital Cairo, on March 4, 2020. (AFP)
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The Arab Group delegation, including Oman, the Arab League and Palestinian officials, slammed the “illegality of all colonisation and annexation measures by Israel in Occupied Palestine” on Wednesday amid Israeli intentions to move forward with its plans on 1 July.

Following a meeting with UN Chief Antonio Guterres on 5 May, in its statement, the Arab Group stressed that Israel’s “actions are severely violating the Palestinian people’s rights and destroying the viability of the two-state solution on the pre-1967 borders."

“If not stopped, Israel’s illegal actions would result in a one-state reality, bringing only more conflict and suffering and impeding prospects for peace and security in the entire region,” the statement read.

Noting that Guterres believes the annexation would “effectively end the two-state solution and close the door to Israeli-Palestinian negotiations,” the Arab Group called on all international stakeholders including the Quartet to “mobilise to bring to a halt these illegal policies and practices.”

“They [the Arab Group] reiterated the call for an internationally-sponsored political process, within a defined timeframe and based on the longstanding parameters, to shepherd negotiations for the achievement of a just solution to the Palestine question, and pledged full cooperation with, and support to, the secretary-general, all UN organs, including the Security Council, and all relevant UN agencies in fulfilling this solemn responsibility,” the statement concluded.

The recent agreement on the formation of a new coalition government in Israel — jointly created by Israel’s Premier Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz, leader of the Blue and White Party — stipulates that Israel will claim sovereignty over the whole West Bank by 1 July and implement the controversial peace plan that was developed by US President Donald Trump’s administration.

“A couple of months from now, I’m confident that that pledge will be honoured, that we will be able to celebrate another historic moment in the history of Zionism,” Netanyahu said on 27 April.

Despite US backing, such plans have been criticised by both the Arab League and the European Union.

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