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Arab nations, EU denounce Netanyahu's annexation remarks


CAIRO – 11 September 2019: A state of wrath and public rejection has prevailed the Arab nations as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to annex parts of the West Bank, if he wins next week’s elections.

Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister since 2009, considered the imposition of sovereignty over these areas as a major and historic step in Israel’s history in favor of the Israeli settlers.

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) announced on Wednesday that it would hold an emergency meeting on Sunday at the request of Saudi Arabia, to discuss Netanyahu’s threat.

In a press statement, the OIC condemned in the strongest terms the prime minister’s pledge, saying that this dangerous announcement represent a new attack on the rights of the Palestinian people, in flagrant violation of the Charter of the United Nations, the principles of international law and relevant UN resolutions, including UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338.

OIC Secretary General Yousef bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen said that the OIC will hold an exceptional meeting at the level of foreign ministers to discuss the escalation.

Othaimeen blamed the Israeli government for the repercussions of this illegal declaration which would undermine any international efforts to achieve a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in accordance with the two-state solution.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) strongly condemned the announcement, saying, according to the Emirati News Agency, that it represents an electoral exploitation in its most heinous form without regard to the legitimacy of international resolutions or the efforts of the international community to reach a peaceful solution to the Palestinian issue.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Tuesday evening that the agreements signed with the Israeli side will expire if Netanyahu fulfills his threats to impose the Israeli sovereignty on any part of the Palestinian territory.

“All agreements signed with the Israeli side and the resulting obligations will expire, if the Israeli side implemented [the decision to] impose Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea and any part of the Palestinian lands occupied in 1967,” Palestinian News and Information Agency (Wafa) cited Abbas as saying.

The European Union warned that Netanyahu’s pledge to annex the Jordan Valley in the occupied West Bank undermines the prospects for peace in the region.

“The policy of settlement construction and expansion… is illegal under international law and its continuation, and actions taken in this context, undermine the viability of the two-state solution and the prospects for a lasting peace,” an EU spokesperson said in a statement.
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