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UN chief hopes Israel will speak out against West Bank annexation


UNITED NATIONS (AP) – UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday expressed hope that Israel will hear global calls and not move forward with the annexation of parts of the West Bank. which would compromise a two-state solution to decades-old Israel. Palestinian conflict.

The UN chief said in an interview with the Associated Press that the United Nations regularly sends the message “that annexation would not only be contrary to international law but would be a major factor of destabilization of the region”.

He spoke before a high-level meeting of the UN Security Council Wednesday morning in the Middle East, where Israel’s plans to annex about 30% of the West Bank in accordance with President Donald Trump’s peace plan for the Middle East will certainly be a major subject.

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Guterres will speak before briefings by the Secretary General of the Arab League, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, and the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East, Nickolay Mladenov. France, who holds the presidency of the Council this month, said half a dozen foreign ministers are expected to attend, as well as the Palestinian Foreign Minister and Israel’s ambassador to the UN .

Israel captured the West Bank from Jordan in the 1967 Middle East War and built dozens of settlements which now house nearly 500,000 Israelis, but it has never officially claimed it as Israeli territory due to 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 Israeli settlements in the West Bank illegal under international law.

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The Trump administration has taken a much sweeter stance toward the Israeli settlements than its predecessors. With Trump’s re-election prospects uncertain in November, Israeli extremists urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to proceed quickly with the annexation. The Israeli leader’s new coalition agreement includes an official clause allowing him to present his annexation plan to the government from July 1.

Such a unilateral decision would dash almost all Palestinian hopes for a viable independent state and vehemently oppose the Palestinians, the Arab nations and most of the rest of the world.

Guterres said the annexation “would undermine what I think is necessary, which is a two-state solution in which Israelis and Palestinians can live together in peace, respect each other and guarantee the security of the other.”

“I hope that this voice of reason which is not only mine, which resonates all over the world, will be heard by the Israeli authorities and that the annexation will not take place on July 1,” he said. -he declares.

Source: AP News

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