Israel’s WB annexation plan, US support condemned


Foreign Desk Report

GENEVA: U.N. human rights experts said on Tuesday that Israel’s plan to annex significant parts of the occupied West Bank would violate international law banning the taking of territory by force, and urged other countries to actively oppose it.
A joint statement, signed by nearly 50 independent experts, voiced dismay at U.S. support for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s “unlawful” plan to extend sovereignty, de facto annexation of land that the Palestinians seek for a state. “The annexation of occupied territory is a serious violation of the Charter of the United Nations and the Geneva Conventions, and contrary to the fundamental rule affirmed many times by the United Nations Security Council and General Assembly that the acquisition of territory by war or force is inadmissible,” it said.
What would be left of the West Bank after annexation of about 30% would amount to a “Palestinian Bantustan”, it said. There was no immediate reaction from the government of Netanyahu, who has set July 1 as the date to begin advancing his plan to annex Israel’s settlements and the Jordan Valley in the West Bank, hoping for a green light from Washington. Trump has unveiled a peace plan that includes Israel keeping its settlements and the Palestinians establishing a state under stringent conditions. Palestinians have rejected the proposal and voiced outrage at Israel’s proposed annexation.