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News > Palestine

Israel Gov't Plans To Annex Palestinian West Bank By July 1st

  • Palestinians protests against annexation of West Bank on June 3, 2020

    Palestinians protests against annexation of West Bank on June 3, 2020 | Photo: Xinhua/Nidal Eshtayeh

Published 12 June 2020

The United Nations top Middle East diplomat warned that the move would constitute "a devastating blow to the two-state solution". 

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed in a meeting with settler leaders that he still intends to annex all West Bank settlements on the July 1 date, which is the earliest date allowed by his coalition deals.


Netanyahu Pledges ICC Investigation Won’t Impede Settlements

On May 17, 2020, Netanyahu was sworn in as Israel's Prime Minister, heading a unity government in which he will rotate the leadership with his former rival, Benny Gantz. As a result, a coalition deal was reached, by which Israel planned to annex large parts of illegally occupied Palestinian West Bank.

As the date gets closer, on May 28 Netanyahu said that when his government continues with its annexation of the West Bank, thousands of Palestinian residents would be granted neither citizenship nor equal rights.

The annexation plan includes, for example, the Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea, a region that has 30 illegal Israeli settlements as Netanyahu revealed in a map. The zone has a scope of approximately 30 percent of the area of the West Bank, and it is strategic as it lies along the Jordanian border.

On the other hand, Palestinian authorities have said that if Israel goes on attempting to annex West Bank, they will try any Israeli citizens or Arab residents of Jerusalem arrested there, in Palestinian courts, instead of handing them over to Israel.

The move by the Israeli government is a blow to the hope of the two-state solution to the conflict, an agreement the United Nations (UN) has defended since 1947 when both states where officially. 

The UN has repeatedly denounced that the establishment of Israeli settlements in the Israeli-occupied territories is illegal and constitutes a violation of the international law, including UN Security Council resolutions in 1979, 1980 and 2016.

On May 20, 2020, Nickolay Mladenov, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process warned during a virtual meeting that "the continuing threat of annexation by Israel of parts of the West Bank would constitute a most serious violation of international law, deal a devastating blow to the two-state solution, close the door to a renewal of negotiations, and threaten efforts to advance regional peace and our broader efforts to maintain international peace and security."

Although the United States has supported Israeli settlements, so far, the international community has condemned Israel's plans. The European Union Foreign Policy Chief Joshep Borrel said the bloc would use its diplomatic clout to prevent unilateral action.  On the other hand, Jordan's king, Abdalà II, warned Israel about a "massive conflict with Jordan" if it continues with such a plan, and Egypt is already in talks to prevent the movement that could spark a new wave of violence in the region.

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