Arab League slams Israel’s West Bank annexation plans ‘a new war crime’

Arab League Chief Ahmed Abul Gheit chairs an urgent virtual meeting in Cairo to discuss how to galvanise opposition to Israeli plans to annex parts of the occupied West Bank. (AFP)
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Updated 30 April 2020

Arab League slams Israel’s West Bank annexation plans ‘a new war crime’

  • Netanyahu has set July 1 for the start of cabinet discussions on extending Israeli sovereignty to Jewish settlements in the West Bank
  • Palestinians have expressed outrage at Israel’s plans

CAIRO: Arab countries condemned Israel’s plan to annex parts of the occupied West Bank as a “new war crime” against Palestinians, the Arab League said in a statement after a video conference of Arab foreign ministers on Thursday.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in announcing a deal to form a unity government, has said cabinet discussions will start on July 1 on extending Israeli sovereignty to Jewish settlements in the West Bank and annexing the area’s Jordan Valley outright.
Palestinians have expressed outrage at Israel’s plans to cement its hold further on land it seized in the 1967 Middle East war, territory they are seeking for a state.
Implementing such plans “represents a new war crime added to the Israeli record full of brutal crimes against the Palestinian people,” the Arab foreign ministers said in a statement after their emergency meeting, which was held online because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Arab League secretary general Ahmed Aboul Gheit accused Israel of “taking advantage of the global preoccupation with confronting the coronavirus epidemic to impose a new reality on the ground.”
“This step, if taken, would eliminate the possibility of embodying an independent, sovereign, geographically connected and viable Palestinian state. This step, if completed, would end the two-state solution,” Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki said during the meeting.
Netanyahu said on April 26 that the United states would give Israel the nod within two months to move ahead with de facto annexation of parts of the occupied lands.
The Arab countries urged Washington to abide by UN resolutions and “withhold support for plans and maps of the Israeli occupation government woven under the cover of the so-called American-Israeli deal of the century,” the statement said.
Palestinians have flatly rejected the US peace proposal announced by President Donald Trump in January, partly because it awards Israel most of what it has sought during decades of conflict, including nearly all the occupied land on which it has built settlements.


Foreign ministers discuss Palestine-Israel peace process in joint conference

Updated 57 min 5 sec ago

Foreign ministers discuss Palestine-Israel peace process in joint conference

DUBAI: Foreign ministers from Egypt, France, and Jordan held a press conference on Thursday, discussing the peace process on the decades-long Palestine-Israel conflict.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas also joined the three via a video conference.

The ministers affirmed the importance of reaching a comprehensive deal to solve the conflict, with Jordan's Ayman Safadi saying the country supports a two-state solution.

(Developing)