Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has affirmed his go on to start annexing parts of the occupied West Bank, though the timing and overall scope of the master plan remains uncertain following the international community united to condemn annexation as illegal under international law.
As scepticism around the plan lingers, more than 1,000 lawmakers from across Europe criticised the plan in a joint letter which calls for the preservation of a two-state solution and warns that when the Israeli government decides to annex any elements of the West Bank, the move wouldn’t only violate international law but will be severely disputed by signing parties. In total, 1,080 members of national assemblies and parliament members from Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the united kingdom signed the letter.
Missing from the signatories and something of the primary supporters of the plan has been the united states, which first outlined the theory in its so-called ‘peace plan’ for the Middle East. America has, however, maybe not given Israel the proceed to annex the Palestinian territories. With Netanyahu delaying his plans in order to win the US administration’s approval.
READ: Int’l opposition to Israel annexation ought not to be underestimated, warns Israel official
US President Donald Trump’s plan which that he titled, “Peace to Prosperity: A Vision to Improve the Lives of the Palestinian and Israeli People,” gives Israel clearance to annex roughly 30 per cent of the occupied West Bank – a territory Israel captured in 1967 during the Six Day War. Claiming sovereignty is not a brand new concept for Israel. For decades, hundreds of thousands of Israeli settlers have illegally built domiciles on occupied land. The settlements are illegal under international law but are protected by Israel and provided electricity and water by the occupation state.
Trump’s proposed ‘peace plan’ permits these illegal settlements situated in the occupied West Bank to be acknowledged as section of Israel. To compensate for the loss of land, the plan proposes a future Palestinian state nearby the Gaza Strip. Whilst roughly 70 percent of the West Bank would remain accessible to Palestinians, they’d never manage to establish a fully independent state as the Israel army could have control over their airspace and borders. Palestinian leaders and different special rapporteurs from the United Nations have rejected the plan saying it would develop a “21st century apartheid”.
Human rights defender from Hebron, Issa Amro, told the Francophone Association for Human Rights (AFDH) of the inequalities and hardships Palestinians would endure should the plan go ahead. Denouncing the move, Amron called out Israeli right-wing leaders, saying:
They don’t care about Palestinians – they truly are not the primary topic within their discussion. This plan means more economic opportunities and much more development and welfare for Israel at the expense of Palestinians and their human rights.
Israel is advancing its campaign of being the only real bureaucratic entity by legitimising the forced displacement of Palestinians and the theft of their land through the approval of Trump’s administration.
Israel’s right-wing leaders, Amro continued, are employing Trump’s support and policies to get more and much more land so that they can make Israeli settlement permanent.
READ: Opposition to Israel’s annexation plans must be followed closely by an end to its favoured status
Although Netanyahu’s plan – as of now – would be to annex 30% of the occupied territory, the right-wing ideology is to expand and dominate the entirety of Palestinian law;
deconstructing Palestinian infrastructure, economy and identity, Amro explained.
“Palestinians will have fewer legal rights, political rights and services.” The names of streets and neighbourhoods will be changed from Palestinian Arabic names to Israeli Hebrew names, he warned. Their land, homes and possessions could possibly be stripped from their website at any time and even now, many face assault or murder as a result of settlers, of act with impunity.
“Israel is not accountable for its occupation and is getting away with racism, suppression and segregation,” noted Amro.
As international opposition continues to escalate and Netanyahu struggles to win the support of Trump and his administration, it’s imperative that countries all over the world hold Israel accountable by imposing sanctions should the plan go ahead.
READ: Arabs necessitate international stance against Israeli annexation
Annexation will potentially create irreversible apartheid thus threatening the political, social and economic rights of Palestinians. Amro added.
They will be modern day slaves working in their land but robbed of the right your can purchase it or their services and products. The future will be violent and dark and will sooner or later reach a place of saturation where there will be no peace.
The views expressed in this essay belong to the writer and do not of necessity reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.