*** ----> Bahrain, League of Arab States condemn Israeli plan to annex West Bank | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Bahrain, League of Arab States condemn Israeli plan to annex West Bank

TDT| Manama

Bahrain yesterday strongly condemned Israeli plan to annex the West Bank or parts of it to the Israeli entity as a flagrant violation of the UN resolutions and principles of international law. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in announcing a deal to form a unity government, has said cabinet discussions will start on July 1 on extending Israeli sovereignty to Jewish settlements in the West Bank and annexing the area’s Jordan Valley outright.

Palestinians have expressed outrage at Israel’s plans to cement its hold further on land it seized in the 1967 Middle East war, territory they are seeking for a state. In an extraordinary session of the Council of the Arab League at the ministerial level, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani called the move a violation of all agreements signed between the Palestinian brothers and Israel. The minister, during the video conference hosted by Oman, affirmed the Kingdom’s steadfast stance towards the Palestinian issue saying, “Israeli plan threatens international peace and security and endangers the region.” He said a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East region can only be achieved with the complete withdrawal of Israel from all the Arab lands.

The minister called on the international community to shoulder their full responsibilities towards Israel’s arrogance and release Palestinian prisoners in Israel prisons. He also stressed Bahrain’s support of the measures taken by the Palestinian government to combat the pandemic. The meeting was held at the request of Palestine to discuss the steps and procedures the Arab countries could take to counter the Israeli plan to annex the West Bank. The Council of the League of Arab States, in a statement, said the Israeli plan to de facto annexe parts of the occupied West Bank as a “new war crime” against Palestinians and flagrant violations of the Charter and resolutions of the United Nations and international law. Implementing such plans “represents a new war crime added to the Israeli record full of brutal crimes against the Palestinian people”, the Arab foreign ministers said in a statement after their emergency meeting, which was held online because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Arab League secretary-general Ahmed Aboul Gheit accused Israel of “taking advantage of the global preoccupation with confronting the coronavirus epidemic to impose a new reality on the ground”. “This step, if taken, would eliminate the possibility of embodying an independent, sovereign, geographically connected and viable Palestinian state. This step, if completed, would end the two-state solution,” Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said during the meeting. Netanyahu said on April 26 that the United States would give Israel the nod within two months to move ahead with de facto annexation of parts of the occupied lands.