- The ministers concluded that the annexation of the Palestinian territories, occupied by Israel in 1967, is a violation of international law.
- Germany has previously stated its opposition to the annexation of the West Bank to Israel.
- Earlier, some countries proposed a plan to impose sanctions on Israel if it annexed the West Bank.
The foreign ministers of Germany, France, Egypt, and Jordan issued a joint statement today saying that they will not recognize the annexation of the West Bank to Israel. The four countries also warned that a possible Israeli move to annex the West Bank could affect relations with Israel.
The joint statement, issued after a video conference between the four foreign ministers, said the annexation of the West Bank “threatens the basis of peace talks,” and would have serious consequences for regional security and stability. The ministers concluded that the annexation of the Palestinian territories, occupied by Israel in 1967, is a violation of international law.
“We do not recognize any change in the 1967 borders that have not been agreed upon by either side,” the joint statement said. The ministers also stressed the need for a two-state solution based on international law, as well as UN resolutions, and suggested that they were ready to help find a way to open the way for negotiations.
Germany has previously stated its opposition to the annexation of the West Bank to Israel. The coalition of Christian Democrats and Social Democrats in Germany also issued a resolution against the annexation submitted it to the German Bundestag. The resolution, however, stated that Germany was opposed to any punitive action against Israel.
Earlier, some countries proposed a plan to impose sanctions on Israel if it annexed the West Bank. The Israeli government is using U.S. President Donald Trump’s so-called “deal of the century” as a basis for annexing the occupied territories.
Under the plan, 30 percent of the West Bank occupied by Israel since the 1967 Six Day War will be annexed by Israel. The remaining 70 percent will be part of Palestinian territory, but under severe restrictions. The Palestinians have already rejected the plan. At the international level, too, Trump’s plan is highly controversial.
The four have not yet arrived at a coordinated solution, let alone draft legislation to prohibit Israel from the upcoming annexation of the occupied West Bank. This is particularly the cases since the American/Israeli preparations appear to challenge EU diplomacy.
EU nations have on a limited basis sought to unite the rest of the group to impose sanctions should Israel enforce its proposals, but Israel’s lobbying has an effect on efforts to keep the occupying state responsible. The wealthier countries in the EU hold a straightforward and unambiguous position on this issue. In the end, their ambiguity will work well for Israel. It always works.
When the EU wants to take measures against the violations of international law by Israel, it has already had the means to do so. Diplomatically isolating Israel and breaking all ties off would send out a clear message that Europe rejects Israel ‘s new colonization scheme.
Such a move also would focus on the fact that the violation concerns the colonial settler state itself, which the international community tries to ignore by separating the violation from the perpetrator in the case of Israel.