EU: Israeli Steps Toward West Bank Annexation Would ‘Not Pass Unchallenged’

Israeli steps toward annexation of the Jordan Valley and parts of the West Bank, should they be implemented, "could not pass unchallenged," The European Union's foreign policy chief said in a statement on Tuesday.

"In line with international law and relevant UN Security Council resolutions, the EU does not recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the territories occupied since 1967," said Josep Borrell in response to promises by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to push for applying Israeli sovereignty over settlements in the West Bank before the country's third election in less than a year, on March 2. 

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"Steps towards annexation, if implemented, could not pass unchallenged," the statement said.

To read the full statement click here

Moreover, the EU urged both Israel and the Palestinians "to refrain from any unilateral actions contrary to international law that could exacerbate tensions. We are especially concerned by statements on the prospect of annexation of the Jordan Valley and other parts of the West Bank."

Last week, U.S. President Donald Trump unveiled his administration's long-awaited Middle East peace proposal, which would allow Israel to annex all its West Bank settlements — which the Palestinians and most of the international community view as illegal — as well as the Jordan Valley, which accounts for roughly a quarter of the West Bank.

In return, the Palestinians would be granted statehood in Gaza, scattered chunks of the West Bank and some neighborhoods on the outskirts of Jerusalem, all linked together by a new network of roads, bridges and tunnels. Israel would control the state’s borders and airspace and maintain overall security authority. Critics of the plan say this would rob Palestinian statehood of any meaning.