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Jordan, Egypt, Germany, France warn Israel over annexation

By JT - Jul 08,2020 - Last updated at Jul 08,2020

AMMAN — The foreign ministers of Jordan, Egypt, France and Germany on Tuesday urged Israel to abandon plans to begin annexing settlements in the West Bank, warning such an action could have "consequences" for relations.

"We concur that any annexation of Palestinian territories occupied in 1967 would be a violation of international law and imperil the foundations of the peace process," the ministers said in a statement after a joint video conference as reported by AFP.

Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said that the Kingdom's efforts to stop the annexation plans and realise a comprehensive and just peace are “endless and continuous”.

Safadi added that Amman is coordinating with Arab and international players to formulate an international stance rejecting the annexation,  according to a Foreign Ministry statement.

The government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had set July 1 as the date when it would begin annexing Jewish settlements in the West Bank as well as the strategic Jordan Valley.

The move was endorsed by a Middle East plan unveiled by US President Donald Trump in January.

Netanyahu's office made no announcement on July 1 as expected, but said talks were continuing with US officials and Israeli security chiefs.

“We would not recognise any changes to the 1967 borders that are not agreed by both parties in the conflict,” the ministers warned in a German foreign ministry statement cited by AFP.

“We also concur that such a step would have serious consequences for the security and stability of the region, and would constitute a major obstacle to efforts aimed at achieving a comprehensive and just peace,” they said.

“It could also have consequences for the relationship with Israel,” they added, underlining their commitment to a two-state solution based on international law.

The EU has in recent weeks mounted a diplomatic campaign against annexation, highlighted by a visit to occupied Jerusalem by German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas to raise concern about the prospective plans.  But the bloc cannot threaten Israel with formal sanctions without unanimous support among members, according to AFP.

After occupying the West Bank in the June War of 1967, Israel began establishing a network of settlements the following decade. Construction continues to this day.

Despite being viewed as illegal under international law, the settler population has jumped by 50 per cent over the past decade.

 

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