The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has called Israel’s plans to annex a large swathe of Palestine, “illegal”.
Michelle Bachelet warned that the move would have a disastrous impact on the human rights of those living in the region.
“Annexation is illegal. Period. Any annexation. Whether it’s 30% of the West Bank or 5%.”
She urged Israel to reverse its decision and retreat from what she called a “dangerous path”, adding “the precise consequences of annexation cannot be predicted. But they are likely to be disastrous for Palestinians, for Israel itself, and for the wider region.”
The Israeli government is expected to announce this week how it intends to implement the US-backed Middle East peace plan. The proposal which was unveiled earlier this year includes Israel annexing settlements in the West Bank and Jordan Valley
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he would give the go-ahead from Wednesday 1 July. But amid growing international condemnation, it is not known if he will dilute or delay this plan.
Hamas, a Palestinian Islamist group has said that any attempt by Israel to annex settlements in the West Bank would be considered as a “declaration of war”.
On the 18 June, EU Foreign Affairs chief Joseph Borrell said that any annexation would negatively impact regional stability and scupper any plans for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. While he didn’t say what action the EU would take if it went ahead, he said it would have “significant consequences for the relationship we currently enjoy with Israel.”
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson also spoke out against Israeli plans, stating it would “amount to a breach of international law. We believe profoundly in a two-state solution.”
Jordan, Egypt, and Germany have also spoken out against the proposed annexation.