Israel’s plan to annex the Jordan Valley, an integral part of occupied Palestine, is manifestly illegal and merely adds to Israel’s long history of violations of international law; including its annexation of Jerusalem, the Latroun Valley, and the Syrian Golan Heights, today said Saeb Erekat, secretary general of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced tonight his intention to annex all the settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories and a large part of the Jordan Valley, which makes a third of the area of the West Bank. Many saw in this declaration as a campaign stunt to win votes of the right wing in Israel in next week’s elections.
“Israel’s unprecedented culture of impunity, enabled by international inaction, is the only explanation for Mr. Netanyahu’s audacity in using annexation as an election ploy, and asking the Israeli public to facilitate yet another Israeli crime,” said Erekat in a press release.
“The international community must act now to prevent Netanyahu and his allies from burying any remaining prospects for peace and a viable and independent Palestinian state. This includes by recognizing the State of Palestine on 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital; banning settlement products; and taking action against companies involved in the illegal Israeli colonial-settlement enterprise – which yield enormous profits to both Israel and the settlements, to the detriment of the occupied Palestinian population.
Erekat said the upcoming session of the United Nations General Assembly should be used as a platform to introduce policies aimed at entirely ending the Israeli occupation and saving prospects for a just and lasting peace.
“We do not and will not recognize Israel’s decision. As United Nations resolutions have repeatedly stated, Israel’s illegal annexations are ‘null and void’,” said Erekat.