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  • The West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is considered occupied territory under international law.

    The West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is considered occupied territory under international law. | Photo: EFE

Published 2 July 2020
Opinion

"Israel and the State of Palestine have the right to exist and to live in peace and security, within internationally recognized borders,” the Vatican said.

A Vatican statement released Wednesday said the Vatican's top diplomat Cardinal Pietro Parolin met with the United States Ambassador Callista Gingrich and Israeli Ambassador Oren David over the annexation of Palestinian land.

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Parolin summoned both envoys to express the Holy See's concern about Israel's expressed intention to annex parts of the illegally occupied West Bank.

The Vatican's secretary of state expressed "the concern of the Holy See regarding possible unilateral actions that may further jeopardize the search for peace between Israelis and Palestinians, as well as the delicate situation in the Middle East," the statement read, reiterating Vatican’s position in support of a two-state solution.

"Israel and the State of Palestine have the right to exist and to live in peace and security, within internationally recognized borders,” the statement read.

The Vatican urged Israelis and Palestinians to do everything possible to reopen the process of direct negotiations on the basis of United Nations resolutions.

The government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has planned to begin its annexation process starting July 1st as part of a so-called "peace plan" presented in January by U.S. President Donald Trump.

The plan consents to Israel's annexation of large parts of the occupied West Bank, including illegal settlements and the Jordan Valley. 

It grants Palestinians a disjointed and demilitarised entity with a capital on the outskirts of Jerusalem, while the disputed city would remain fully under Israeli sovereignty.

The West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is considered occupied territory under international law, making all Jewish settlements there, as well as the planned annexation, illegal.

Yet, with no agreement on the modalities of the move, and with talks with Washington still underway, no cabinet session was scheduled Wednesday.

While the U.S. has offered support for immediate annexation, most of the international community is vocally opposed to the project. 

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