Photo: Flash90

Israeli annexation plans face rising protest

A growing number of global and domestic leaders are seemingly voicing increased objection to Jerusalem’s planned annexation of parts of the West Bank, since such a move is not in alignment with the years’ long international consensus on a Two State solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

When asked about the Israeli plan to assert its sovereignty over parts of the West Bank, including the Jordan Valley and sections of the Biblical districts of Judea and Samaria, Germany’s U.N. Ambassador Christoph Heusgen, who is set to assume the presidency of the United Nations Security Council in July, stressed that “All changes of borders have to be agreed upon between the parties, between Israelis and Palestinians.”

Ambassador Heusgen went on to assert that Berlin’s “position has been very clear. For us we remain committed to the U.N. Security resolutions.”

There has also been evident domestic opposition. Several thousand Israelis held a demonstration on Saturday against the extension of sovereignty over the West Bank. The protesters and organizers of the event were predominately members of the Israeli communist party, which holds 17 seats in parliament as part of the Joint List political alliance of Islamist, Marxist and Arab nationalist parties.

Participant Noga Dagan-Buzaglo told Reuters that the annexation would serve neither Israelis or Palestinians, and that it would block a Two State solution and “any option for decent lives for Palestinians.” She emphatically called the move “a fiction” that serves only U.S. President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but “does not serve the people.”

Another demonstator identified as Omri Evron said “I am here with thousands of other Jews and Arabs, who came to protest for a future of peace and democracy that will serve the interest of both people who want to live in dignity in freedom and prosperity; despite Netanyahu’s horrible plans to ensure eternal war by unilaterally annexing the occupied Palestinian territories and entering us into a state of Apartheid.”

The government nevertheless appears undeterred from achieving its historic claim over the disputed territories – with U.S. support. At a meeting with 11 Council Chairpersons of Jewish Settlements in Judea and Samaria, Netanyahu highlighted Jerusalem’s plan to move ahead with the sovereignty extension even though it has yet to be greenlighted by the Trump Administration. Netanyahu also revealed that disagreement between Jerusalem and Washington remains over the size of the area that will eventually be annexed.

According to Netanyahu, the U.S. peace initiative only calls on Israel to consent in principle to reviving negotiations with the Palestinians. He also stated that while Washington may refer to territories under Palestinian control as a “state,” Jerusalem would only view it as an autonomous entity.