U.S. progressive leaders Bernie Sanders and Ilhan Omar slammed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s vow to annex parts of occupied West Bank if he is re-elected in next week’s elections.
Netanyahu Announces Plans to Annex Over a Third of the West Bank
Netanyahu announced Tuesday on Israeli TV that if he is to win the upcoming elections, then his government will formally annex the West Bank’s Jordan Valley, along with the areas where there are currently illegal Israeli settlements. The annexation would mean that what remains around Jericho would be a small island within Israel.
“We haven’t had such an opportunity since the Six-Day War and I doubt we will have another opportunity in the next 50 years," said Netanyahu as he outlined his plan to extend the occupation and formally colonize huge areas of what remains of the Palestinian West Bank.
U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, who is contesting for the 2020 presidential elections said, “Netanyahu's proposal to annex occupied territory would violate international law and make a two-state solution nearly impossible. All who support Israeli-Palestinian peace must oppose it.”
Congresswoman Ilhan Omar who has been vocal about Palestinian rights wrote on Twitter, “This is the nail in the coffin to a two-state solution or any peace deal. Anyone who does not condemn this or take action to prevent it cannot credibly say they support a two-state solution. Speak up!!!”
The Jordan Valley makes up 30 percent of the West Bank and approximately 11,000 Israelis reside in illegal settlements.
Arab foreign ministers, in a meeting in Cairo, called Netanyahu’s promise a "dangerous development and new Israeli aggression by declaring the intention to violate the international law. The Arab League regards these statements as undermining the chances of any progress in the peace process and will torpedo all its foundations."
Countries like Qatar, Turkey, Jordan also attacked Netanyahu. Qatar criticized "Israel's continued contempt of international law" while Turkey called Netanyahu’s promises “racist apartheid” policies.
The United Nations warned that Netanyahu’s plan would have "no international legal effect."