127 British politicians from all parties have written to the British Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary urging them to make clear publicly to Israel that any annexation of occupied Palestinian territory “will have severe consequences including sanctions.”
In an unprecedented intervention, British politicians including former cabinet members, ministers and senior diplomats, demanded actions, not words in opposing any Israeli annexation. This would be “a mortal blow to chances of peace between Israelis and Palestinians based on any viable two-state solution.”
“We are writing to you to express our outrage at the new Israeli Government’s declared plan to annex areas of territories it occupied in June 1967,” said the letter. “It is already clear that the Israeli Government will use the cover of the Covid-19 pandemic to seek to implement this egregious plan. It is vital that the UK does everything in its power to prevent this.”
“Annexation of occupied territory violates several UN Security Council Resolutions including UNSCR 242 and 2334. It is a mortal blow to chances of peace between Israelis and Palestinians based on any viable two-state solution. The joint statement by the UK Government, together with France, Germany, Italy and Spain, on 12 September last year could not have been clearer. Unilateral annexation of any part of the West Bank would be ‘a serious breach of international law’,” the letter added.
The signatories to the letter pointed out that when Russia illegally annexed Crimea in 2014, Britain opposed these acts and imposed sanctions.
“International law is crystal clear. The acquisition of territory through war is prohibited. The Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014 is a recent example where Britain quite properly opposed such acts with appropriate measures, including robust sanctions,” it said.
The signatories asked their prime minister “to take the lead in bringing our international partners together to prevent this illegal action. Our Government has stated that any annexation ‘cannot go unchallenged’. The Government must now make clear publicly to Israel that any annexation will have severe consequences including sanctions. Words are not enough: Prime Minister Netanyahu has ignored our words. We need to prevent his Government from setting this alarmingly dangerous precedent in international relations.”
On April 20, after three general elections and an unprecedented deadlock, all within the course of one year, Netanyahu and his rival Benny Gantz signed a government coalition agreement.
According to the deal, “Netanyahu can advance legislation to annex parts of the West Bank starting July 1, on the condition that the move is supported by the U.S. administration,” Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported.
Source: The Palestine Chronicle