Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh yesterday urged the European Union to put its economic weight behind its political position that rejects the Israeli threat to annex parts of the occupied West Bank.
Shtayyeh discussed during a phone call last night with Josep Borrell, the EU’s foreign policy chief, the threats posed by the upcoming Israeli government and the violation of signed agreements, international law, and United Nations resolutions.
“The political coalition formed in Israel is an annexation coalition, not a peace coalition, and the dialogue among the parties within it is about annexing settlements or annexing the Jordan Valley,” he told Borrell.
“The world should not allow Israel to continue breaking international law without accountability. It’s time to move from positions to actions and translate the support for the two-state solution into recognition of the State of Palestine, and to put an end to the violations committed by Israel, the occupying power, and to impose punitive measures on it,” he added.
Shtayyeh called on Europe to adopt the Palestinian proposal for holding an international peace conference for Palestine, with the participation of all international powers, in which Europe will play the mediation role. He explained that by siding with its ally, Israel, the United States lost its credibility in mediating the political process.
On the danger of Israeli annexation plans, Shtayyeh explained that “the danger of annexation does not only lie in violating the rights of the Palestinian people to their land and state but extends to the violation of international law and international resolutions and the failure of the entire international system.”
He continued, “We want to break the fait accompli that Israel seeks to impose through a united European position that defends the rights of the Palestinian people, protects international law and European values, and restores hope in the international justice system.”
Shtayyeh updated Borrell on the Palestinian diplomatic efforts at the international level to confront the Israeli expansionist plans. He stressed that Israel’s annexation announcement would put an end to all agreements between the two parties and all the international efforts over the past three decades towards the achievement of the two-state solution.
He praised the European Union’s clear and firm statement in response to Israel’s annexation threats, noting that there is an international consensus to reject this threat.
For his part, Josep Borrell stressed the European Union’s rejection of the Israeli efforts to annex lands in the West Bank, noting that this is a violation of international law and will put an end to the two-state solution.
In this context, Borrell confirmed that a meeting for the European Union’s foreign ministers is scheduled on Friday, reiterating that the annexation – if it happens – will not pass unnoticed by the EU and that it will have consequences.