A few days before possible steps by israel, UN secretary-general antonio guterres has warned against annexation of the occupied west bank.
"If implemented, the annexation would constitute a grave violation of international law, significantly impair the prospect of a two-state solution and undermine the possibility of new negotiations," guterres told the united nations security council in new york on wednesday. The UN chief spoke of a "turning point" in the middle east conflict and called on the israeli government to abandon its plans.
As a basis for an annexation, the israeli government takes a plan of the US president donald trump. The palastinians are promised their own state, but under strict conditions. It earmarks about 70 percent of west bank land for palastinians. But israeli settlements to remain. Israel has also been able to "extend its sovereignty" to the strategically important jordan valley. Jerusalem to remain undivided capital of israel. The palastinians claim the west bank and the gaza strip for their future state with east jerusalem as its capital.
The west bank is home to around three million palastinians and more than 400.000 israeli settlers. Palestinian president mahmud abbas said on wednesday that if israel annexes even "one centimeter" there, it must take responsibility for the civilian population. "Such an illegal step will force israel to assume responsibility in occupied land as an occupying power in accordance with the 4. Geneva convention to be adopted," abbas told virtual session of arab league parliament. The convention prohibits an occupying power from transferring parts of its own civilian population into occupied territory.
The first steps toward annexation were taken by the israeli government on 1 january. July initiate. If they do, observers fear new violence will erupt in the region. The EU and germany consider annexation to be a violation of international law.
UN middle east envoy nikolai mladenov said wednesday that a negotiated settlement of the middle east conflict is currently further away than ever before. "There is a danger that more than a quarter of a century of international efforts to support a viable palastinian state living in peace, security and mutual recognition with the state of israel will be ended."
If the annexation is implemented, the dynamics in the region could change dramatically and trigger instability in the entire occupied palestinian territory. "In the coming weeks, decisions could be made that would cause irreparable harm to palastinian and israeli societies, security and the economic well-being of both peoples," mladenov said. In addition to the political problems, there were the dangers of the corona crisis, which had caused the palestinians to lose 80 percent of their monthly income.