OIC Slams Netanyahu’s West Bank Annexation Plan

  • "This dangerous escalation is new dangerous aggression on the Palestinian people's historical and legal rights and a flagrant violation of the UN charter, principles of the international law and relevant UN rights."
  • Last week, Netanyahu announced his intention to annex the Jordan Valley, a large area in the West Bank, if he wins a general election this week.
  • In addition to Muslim-majority countries, a number of Western countries, such as Russia and the European Union, also condemned this annexation plan.

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has  categorically rejected the plans of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to annex a portion of the West Bank. In an emergency meeting held by the OIC in Jeddah at the weekend, OIC member states expressed strong rejection and condemnation of the Israeli PM’s declaration.

The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation is an international organization founded in 1969, consisting of 57 member states, with a collective population of over 1.8 billion as of 2015, with 53 being Muslim-majority countries. The organization states that it is “the collective voice of the Muslim world,” and works to “safeguard and protect the interests of the Muslim world in the spirit of promoting international peace and harmony.”

“This dangerous escalation is new dangerous aggression on the Palestinian people’s historical and legal rights and a flagrant violation of the UN charter, principles of the international law and relevant UN rights,” the OIC said. The joint statement of 57 OIC member states was broadcast by the Saudi news agency on Monday.

“The foreign ministry of the Kingdom of Bahrain strongly condemns the Israeli prime minister’s announcement of his intention to apply Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and the northern part of the Dead Sea in the occupied West Bank. Netanyahu’s comments represent a barefaced and unacceptable violation of the Palestinian people’s rights and reflect resolve to not achieve a comprehensive peace.”

Last week, Netanyahu announced his intention to annex the Jordan Valley, a large area in the West Bank, if he wins a general election this week. Netanyahu said the annexation would take place immediately after the election if he receives a clear mandate to do so from Israelis. The promise was made by Netanyahu after his party lost the parliamentary elections in April. However, he considers the big step will take longer and require maximum coordination with the United States, a close ally of Israel.

Around 65,000 Palestinians and 11,000 Israelis live in the Jordan Valley and north of the Dead Sea. All Israeli settlements in the West Bank region are considered illegal under international law. However, Israel has always argued that the settlements considered illegal are not approved by the Israeli government.

Elections to the 22nd Knesset will be held on Tuesday, September 17. They follow inconclusive elections in April, the first in the history of the State of Israel. A party or coalition needs 61 seats out of 120 to form a government.

The OIC emergency meeting was held at the request of the Saudis, who had already condemned Netanyahu’s controversial move, AFP reported. In addition to Muslim-majority countries, including Indonesia, a number of Western countries, such as Russia and the European Union, also condemned this annexation plan.

Despite strong criticism from various countries, Israel continues to carry out its plans. Today, Netanyahu approved a settlement in Mevoot Jericho, located in the Jordan Valley, two days before the election.

Indonesia and Arab countries strongly condemned Netanyahu’s statement. The Indonesian Foreign Ministry said Netanyahu’s promise was clearly contrary to international law and various UN resolutions that threatened the continuation of the Palestinian-Israeli peace process.

Saudi Arabia said Netanyahu’s plan was a dangerous escalation. Meanwhile, Jordan said Netanyahu’s promise could trigger violent conflict in the Middle East. In line with Jordan, Russia considers Netanyahu’s plan to trigger an increasingly sharp conflict in the Middle East region

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Benedict Kasigara

I have been working as a freelance editor/writer since 2006. My specialist subject is film and television having worked for over 10 years from 2005 during which time I was the editor of the BFI Film and Television.

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