UN Secretary-general Antonio Guterres has asked Israel to abandon plans to annex parts of the occupied West Bank. Also, he said such a step would be the most severe violation of international law.
In the last week of January this year, Trump created a peace plan for the Middle East. This included the end of the conflict between the Palestinians and Israelis. This controversial plan gave the nod for Israel to annex large parts of the occupied West Bank. This included settlements considered illegal under international law. This also has the Jordan valley.
The UN secretary-general made his comments in a report to the Security Council recently. This was a day before the 15-member body holds its twice-yearly meeting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Moreover, when Netanyahu formed a coalition government with long-term enemy Benny Gantz, he mentioned that the annexation process might begin from July 1. The Palestinian leadership had made it clear in late January when Trump announced the peace plan. They said that neither did it approve of it nor were the Arab leaders consulted when the plan was being crafted.
The Palestinian Plan
The Palestinian leadership proposed recently a plan that aimed to create a ‘sovereign Palestinian state, independent and demilitarised’. East Jerusalem as the capital. The plan also leaves options open to discuss border changes between the proposed state and Israel, as well as agreements of land equal. The proposal was a response to Trump’s peace plan that he announced earlier this year.
According to a UN envoy, a clear message should be sent to Israel. Also, it was not enough to simply criticise Israeli policy, but the possibility of a case before the International Court of Justice must be considered. Diplomats at the UN wish for a huge majority from other members to oppose Israel’s plans of annexation. Israel, for many years, has devoured bipartisan US support that helped it ignore international criticism and numerous UN resolutions over its occupation of Palestinian territories.