German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, his Jordanian counterpart Ayman Safadi and Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh affirmed in a joint video conference last night that Israeli annexation of parts of the occupied West Bank is contrary to international law and that it is now a matter of priority to prevent it.
A joint statement released following the video conference on the Middle East peace process said that the German Foreign Minister informed the Jordanian and Palestinian officials about the meetings he had in Israel yesterday with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi and Defense Minister and Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz, where he “conveyed the German and European concerns regarding the annexation plans that are being discussed by the new Israeli Government and their possible consequences for the regional security.”
It said that the Palestinian Prime Minister, the Jordanian Foreign Minister and the German Foreign Minister “confirmed that an annexation would be contrary to international law and that it is now a matter of priority to prevent it.”
They also reiterated that “any future negotiations to reach the final status agreement must be based on International Law and the relevant UN resolutions.”
The three officials also underlined “their firm commitment to the two state-solution” and discussed how to best start a fruitful engagement between the Israeli and the Palestinian side, with the Jordanian and German Foreign Ministers offering their support in facilitating the path to negotiations.
It was also agreed to stay in close touch on these matters, said the statement.
Shtayyeh said after the meeting that “we have affirmed our position of categorically rejecting annexation as an existential threat to the Palestinian entity and the Palestinian state, a violation of international law and agreements and a threat to regional security.”
He added: “We have asked Germany, which will chair the Security Council and the European Union, to convey this message to the world and increase its pressure on Israel on behalf of the European Union to back down from the annexation plan. It is very clear that if there is no serious cost for the annexation to Israel, it will not back down from its plan.”
The Palestinian Prime Minister said the door remains open “for a serious and authentic political process based on international law and within the framework of an international conference based on the International Quartet with the possibility to expand it,” adding that “there is a real international front against annexation, but what is needed is to increase pressure on Israel to go back on its plan destructive of the Palestinian issue, the national project, regional security and international law. Our focus today is on one thing and that is to prevent Israel from proceeding with the annexation.”