After the newly-formed Israeli government announced their plans to annex the West Bank, Arab diplomats are urging the US to withdraw support for their historic ally.
Rabat – In a joint statement, Arab foreign ministers condemned Israeli plans to annex parts of the West Bank and the Jordan Valley on Thursday.
Following a virtual conference chaired in Cairo, the ministers released the following statement: “The implementation of plans to annex any part of the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967, including the Jordan Valley and the lands on which Israeli settlements are standing represents a new war crime against the Palestinian people.’’
The new Israeli government plans to annex parts of the occupied West Bank and the Jordan Valley, a piece of land bordering Jordan, Israel, and the Palestinian territories. Parts of the West Bank are already under the direct control of Israel, with hundreds of thousands of Israeli settlers living in the area.
Al Jazeera reported that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to submit the plans for approval by the government in July.
Israel recently formed an emergency coalition government, allowing the current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to remain in the office for the first half of the term. The new unified government emerged after months of political tensions between the two most prominent Israeli parties and their leaders, Netanyahu and Benny Gantz.
While the newly-formed government promised not to introduce any new laws that are not related to COVID-19 in the next six months, the annexation of the West Bank territories seems to be an exception.
The Arab League urged the US to withdraw its support from the Israeli government.
In a news conference on Wednesday, April 29, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo offered his support to Israeli leaders amid their plans to annex the territories.
Pompeo told reporters: “As for the annexation of the West Bank, the Israelis will ultimately make those decisions. That’s an Israeli decision. And we will work closely with them to share with them our views of this in a private setting.”
He also congratulated Netanyahu and Gantz for successfully forming a new government, saying he was “happy” the deal was made.
In January the US unveiled a Middle Eastern “Peace Plan,” a proposal of the Trump administration to stabilize relations between Palestine and Israel. The Palestinian leadership ultimately rejected the plan, claiming it was too biased towards Israel.
An American news outlet alleged Israel was pressuring the US into recognizing Western Sahara as part of Morocco in order to gain Morocco’s support of the deal. Thousands of Moroccans marched the streets of Rabat to protest the plan. The Moroccan Parliament also stressed the kingdom’s enduring support for the Palestinian cause.
UN envoy in the Middle East Nickolay Mladenov called the “Deal of the Century” a “serious violation of international law.” In April he also urged Israel to allow medical supplies and aid to enter the Palestinian territories, as the number of coronavirus cases in the state was rising.