United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov said that Israel annexation threats constitute a major violation of international law.
“The continuing threat of annexation by Israel of parts of the West Bank would constitute a most serious violation of international law, deal a devastating blow to the [so-called] two-state solution, close the door to a renewal of negotiations, and threaten efforts to advance regional peace and our broader efforts to maintain international peace and security,” Mladenov said during a virtual UN Security Council meeting.
The senior UN official then pointed to the upsurge in Israeli settler attacks against Palestinian land and property across the West Bank, in the period from April 14 to April 27 this year.
“In the reporting period, OCHA (the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) recorded 20 incidents in which Israeli settlers injured Palestinians or reportedly damaged their property, with a high concentration of incidents in the areas of Nablus and Ramallah Governorates,” Mladenov stated.
He said that it was a time that all sides did their part in order to “preserve the prospect of a negotiated two-state resolution to the conflict, in line with internationally agreed parameters, international law, and UN resolutions, adding, “These efforts must begin immediately; there is no time to lose.”
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas declared the end of all agreements signed with Israel and the United States on Tuesday after the new Israeli coalition cabinet under the leadership of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced it would annex parts of the West Bank.
Netanyahu, who was sworn into office for another term on Sunday, said in an address to the Knesset (parliament) before the vote that his so-called unity administration must enforce Tel Aviv’s rule over settlements constructed in the occupied territory.
He has set July 1 for the start of cabinet discussions on extending Israeli appropriation to settlements in the West Bank and annexing the Jordan Valley.