Gantz tells Trump aides that fighting coronavirus is more important than annexation

Elias Hubbard
June 29, 2020

With the Palestinians boycotting the plan, however, Netanyahu and Gantz had agreed in a deal under which they formed a coalition government last month that a cabinet debate on annexation could begin as of July 1.

Israel's aim to annex parts of the occupied West Bank is clearly "illegal", the UN's human rights chief said on Monday, warning that the consequences could be "disastrous". She urged Israel to halt its plans, warning that the shockwaves of such a move would "last for decades" and cause lasting damage for both sides.

Hailing the Trump plan as an "historic move", Gantz told the USA envoys that it should be advanced "with strategic partners in the region and with the Palestinians, and to reach an arrangement that benefits all side", the source said.

The UN has condemned the annexation plans as "unlawful" and "21st-century apartheid", while expressing its regret over Washington's support for the scheme.

The precise outcome of the move were hard to predict, she said.

Over the past days, many protest movements have been triggered in the Palestinian regions.

Her statement cautioned that such a move would nearly certainly lead to increased restrictions on Palestinians' rights to freedom of movement, as their population centres would become enclaves.

Khadeeja Bisharat a Palestinian artist stands with her daughter Remas in Jordan Valley in the Israeli-occupied West Bank
UN official calls for 'menu of countermeasures' to Israel's sovereignty bid

Bachelet's statement also warned that many Palestinians could experience difficulties in accessing and cultivating their own land after the seizure of West Bank areas by Israel. Furthermore, Palestinians living within the annexed territory would face additional challenges in accessing education, healthcare and humanitarian assistance.

Bachelet's office warned that Palestinians inside the annexed area would come under heavy pressure to move out, pointing out that entire communities now not recognised under Israeli planning would be at high risk of "forcible transfer".

He also called on the European Union to "deepen its policy of differentiating between Israel and the settlements across the entire scope of EU-Israel relations" and urged it to "insist that Israel honour its obligations under global law and end the Gaza blockade, while taking the necessary steps to enhance Gaza's economy".

"This is a highly combustible mix", Bachelet said.

Gantz, the leader of the Blue and White party, met Monday morning with White House envoy Avi Berkowitz and USA ambassador to Israel David Friedman in Israel.

The Jerusalem Post, meanwhile, quoted multiple USA sources with knowledge of the matter saying that Israel will not go ahead with its plans this week, as those plans have not been finalised.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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