UN Human Rights chief Michelle Bachelet called Israel’s West Bank annexation plan “illegal” and urged the government not to proceed along the “dangerous” path. Bachelet said in a statement that though the precise consequences of annexation cannot be predicted, they are likely to be disastrous for the Palestinians, for Israel itself, and for the wider region.
“The Secretary-General of the United Nations has called on the Israeli Government to abandon its annexation plans, and I back that call one hundred per cent,” she added.
In January, Trump unveiled the Middle East peace plan to resolve Israel-Palestine conflict but it was rejected by Palestinian leaders in its entirety. As per the proposed peace plan, the sovereignty of Israel over important settlement blocs in the West Bank will be acknowledged and the State of Palestine be created with its capital in east Jerusalem.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has set the target date as July 1 after a push from Trump and sealing a power-sharing deal with former rival Benny Gantz of Blue and White Party. Bachelet warned that any attempt to annex any part of the occupied Palestinian territory will entrench, perpetuate and further heighten serious human rights violations.
“The shockwaves of annexation will last for decades and will be extremely damaging to Israel, as well as to the Palestinians. However there is still time to reverse this decision,” she said.
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights expressed her concerns that even the most minimalist form of annexation would lead to increased violence and loss of life. She said that the West Bank annexation plan will grievously harm the prospect of a two-state solution and undercut the possibilities of a renewal of negotiations.
Last week, Palestinian fundamentalist militant organisation Hamas, which controls the Gaza strip, warned Israel that West Bank annexation plan would be a “declaration of war”. Abu Obeida, the spokesperson for the Hamas military wing Al-Qassam Brigades, said in a video that the organisation considers West Bank as a declaration of war against Palestinian people and they will make the enemy “regret that decision”.