The European Union’s Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell published a statement in which he claimed that the 27-member bloc regards any annexation of disputed territories as a serious violation of international law.
According to his statement, the European Union’s position on the status of the territories occupied by Israel in 1967 remains unchanged.
The top European diplomat concluded his statement by emphasizing that “The European Union will continue to closely monitor the situation and its broader implications, and will act accordingly.”
The EU Foreign Policy Chief’s statement was apparently made in response to remarks made by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo a day prior, in which he asserted that “the Israelis will ultimately make the decision” vis-à-vis annexation of the West Bank territories.
While Israeli officials did not immediately respond to the statement made by the top American diplomat; Jerusalem’s Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz did not shy away from condemning his EU counterpart, who evidently “opts to see the relations between Israel and the European Union solely through the narrow prisms of the coronavirus and of the ‘status of the (referred-to) territories’.”
It is important to mention that the EU Foreign Policy Chief failed to secure support from EU member states for the purpose of releasing his statement as a unified European position. Instead, the man who strives to lead the foreign relations of the EU released the statement under his own name; to which, Israel’s top diplomat responded, “I thank our friends in Europe who opposed Mr. Borrell’s announcement and prevented the adoption of this text by the European Union.”
Minister Katz went on to highlight that the states that support Jerusalem within the EU “are the ones that recognize the value of their relations with Israel, and together with them, (the Jewish State) will continue to advance Israel-EU relations.”
Now to a related matter; the United Nations condemned prospects of Israeli sovereignty over the West Bank, claiming it “undermines the chances for peace.”
During a Security Council video conference, the U.N. Special Representative for the Mideast Peace Process Nikolai Mladenov referred to the prospect of Israeli annexation of the West Bank as “a growing threat.” He warned that “If such a move were implemented, it would constitute a serious violation of international law; deal a devastating blow to the two-state solution; close the door to renewal of negotiations and threaten efforts to advance region peace.”
The U.N. envoy strongly urged “Israeli and Palestinian leaders to seize this moment to take steps toward peace; to reject unilateral moves that will only deepen the wedge between the two peoples and undermine the chances for peace.”
The exceptionally inflammatory meeting of the most important council of the United Nations granted the Palestinian representative the stage to voice his-entity’s own condemnation of the Jewish State. Ambassador Riyad Mansour listed a long and troubling list of alleged “crimes” that were perpetrated by Israel against the Palestinian people. “Israel carries on with its illegal policies and practices, business as usual. Wherever technical coordination has been achieved between the two sides in recent weeks to combat COVID19, has been undercut by incessant violations. This is not politization of the matter, as alleged by the Israeli representative, these are the hard facts – I repeat, the hard facts. Most flagrant of these violations has been Israeli’s annexation push.”
In response to those statement, the Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon condemned the U.N. for its “shameless” and “anti-Semitic” lies. “You should be ashamed of yourselves. You should apologize for what you have said and what you have wrote. You have made it clear that you prefer to hate Israel more than help the Palestinian people.”
The Israeli diplomat further criticized the Palestinian representative for his incessant efforts to incite the world against Israel, at a time when Jerusalem offers the Palestinians significant assistance in combating the spread of the coronavirus. Danon said “They happily accept any and all assistance from Israel, and expect it to continue, even as they incite against us and spread anti-Semitic libel. This outrageous and destructive behavior cannot and will not be tolerated.”