UNITED NATIONS (AP) – UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said on Tuesday that Israel will hear global calls and will not continue to annex parts of the West Bank, which are a two-state solution for decades-old Israeli. would undermine government. Palestinian conflict.
The UN chief said in an interview with The Associated Press that the United Nations consistently conveys the message “that annexation would not only violate international law, but that it would be an important factor in destabilizing the region.”
He spoke prior to a high-level UN Security Council meeting on Wednesday morning in the Middle East, where Israel’s plans to annex approximately 30% of the West Bank in line with President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace plan certainly will be an important topic.
Guterres will speak for briefings from Secretary General of the Arab League Ahmed Aboul Gheit and UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Nickolay Mladenov. France, which holds the Presidency of the Council this month, said half a dozen foreign ministers are expected to participate, along with the Palestinian foreign minister and the Israeli UN ambassador.
Israel conquered the West Bank of Jordan in the 1967 war in the Middle East and has built dozens of settlements that are now home to nearly 500,000 Israelis, but never formally claimed it as Israeli territory because of strong international opposition.
The Palestinians, with broad international support, seek the territory as the heart of their future independent state. Most of the international community considers the settlements in the West Bank illegal under international law.
The Trump administration has taken a much softer line toward Israeli settlements than its predecessors. With Trump’s reelection prospects uncertain in November, Israeli hardliners have urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to proceed with annexation swiftly. The Israeli leader’s new coalition deal contains an official clause allowing him to present his annexation plan to the government from July 1.
Such a one-sided move would almost undermine the Palestinian hope of establishing a viable independent state and is hotly contested by the Palestinians, Arab nations and most of the rest of the world.
Guterres said annexation “would undermine what I think is needed, which is a two-state solution in which Israelis and Palestinians can live together in peace, respect each other and guarantee each other’s security.”
“I hope that this voice of reason that is not only mine but also resonates all over the world will be heard by the Israeli authorities and that annexation will not take place on July 1,” he said.
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