The United Nations: The United Nations and major European and Arab countries warned Israel on Wednesday that its plan to annex Palestinian land would bring a major blow to peace, but the United States provided a green light.
A week before the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was expected to begin the annexation process, a meeting of the United Nations Security Council provided the last chance for the international community to urge him to change course.
“I call on the Israeli government to abandon its annexation plans,” UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres told the virtual conference.
The UN coordinator for the Middle East, Nickolay Mladenov, said annexation “could irrevocably alter the nature of Israeli-Palestinian relations.”
“It risks upending more than a quarter of a century of international efforts in support of a future viable Palestinian state living in peace, security and mutual recognition with the State of Israel,” he said.
Seven European nations — Belgium, Britain, Estonia, France, Germany, Ireland and Norway — in a joint statement warned that annexation would “severely undermine” prospects for resuming the Middle East peace process.
“Under international law, annexation would have consequences for our close relationship with Israel and would not be recognized by us,” they warned.
Arab League secretary general Ahmed Aboul Gheit said annexation “will destroy any prospect for peace in the future” and threaten regional stability.
But the government of President Netanyahu’s close ally, President Donald Trump, has refused to criticize annexation and rejected the consensus among most people in the world that Israeli settlements on Palestinian land are illegal.
“Decisions about Israelis extending sovereignty to those places are decisions for the Israelis to make,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters in Washington.
Trump announced a Middle East plan in January, which will pave the way for Israel to annex the Jewish settlements it occupied in the 1967 Six-Day War and the area around the Jordan Valley.
In turn, the Palestinians will have an independent country, but in the controversial suburbs of Jerusalem, they will be demilitarized by the capital.
The plan also calls for major economic investments in the Palestinian region. Funding is mainly provided by the Arab Gulf countries, which have found common ground with Netanyahu and Trump in hostilities against Iran.
However, the US allies, including the United Arab Emirates and Jordan, one of the two Arab countries that have reached a peace treaty with Israel, have warned that swallowing will jeopardize the hope of a better relationship between the Jewish state.
Pompeo brushed aside such concerns, saying the United states was “talking to all of the countries in the region” about the weeks ahead.
“I regret only that the Palestinian Authority has refused to participate in that,” Pompeo said.
At the United Nations, Palestinian representative Riyad al-Malki said annexation would be a “crime.”
“Israel seems determined to ignore that big red stop sign the international community erected to save lives,” he said.
He warned that the Palestinians could approach the International Court of Justice and urged nations to impose sanctions on Israel if it goes ahead.
European nations, while opposed to annexation, have been split on how severely to respond if Israel goes ahead.
Israel s UN ambassador Danny Danon criticized the Palestinians, saying the stalemate was due to their refusal to negotiate.
“Some in the international community choose to reward the Palestinians rejectionism and ignore reality,” he said.
“Instead of confronting the Palestinian leadership, they have tried to appease them by buying every rotten bill of goods the Palestinians were selling.”
Netanyahu can start an alliance agreement with Benny Gantz, a partner of his centrist rival, who has become more cautious since July 1, especially when evaluating the United States Aspect of the response.
Joe Biden is the presumptive Democratic candidate for the president. He led Trump in the polls. He expressed opposition to mergers.