close
Advertisement
Can't connect right now! retry

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!
AFP
September 12, 2019

Netanyahu’s annexation pledge undermines peace: EU

World

AFP
September 12, 2019

BRUSSELS: The EU warned on Wednesday that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s pledge to annex the Jordan Valley in the occupied West Bank if he wins next week’s election undermines chances for peace in the region.

Netanyahu’s vow was roundly condemned by the Palestinians as well as Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Turkey, and the EU said it would not recognise any change to Israel’s borders that was not agreed by both sides.

"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.

In a televised speech, Netanyahu also reiterated his intention to annex Israeli settlements in the wider West Bank if re-elected. Those moves could effectively kill any remaining hopes for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, long the focus of international diplomacy.Politicians from smaller parties on the far-right who are competing with Netanyahu for votes called it too little and too late.

"Why talk about annexation one week before the elections when the government can decide to apply it when it wants, and even today?" said Transport Minister Bezalel Smotrich, part of the far-right Yamina alliance in the upcoming vote.

However the Yesha Council, an umbrella organisation for Israeli settlements in the West Bank, said it was a "historic event." Netanyahu’s announcement was only the start of a tense evening.

The Jordan Valley accounts for around one-third of the West Bank and Israeli right-wing politicians have long viewed the strategic area as a part of the territory they would never retreat from, seeing it as the country’s eastern border. Israeli settlements are located in what is known as Area C of the West Bank, which accounts for some 60 percent of the territory, including the vast majority of the Jordan Valley.

Topstory minus plus

Opinion minus plus

Newspost minus plus

Editorial minus plus

National minus plus

World minus plus

Sports minus plus

Business minus plus

Karachi minus plus

Lahore minus plus

Islamabad minus plus

Peshawar minus plus