- Most Palestinians believe Israel will go ahead with annexation.
- Israel is facing a serious response from the Arab League and the international world.
- Pompeo is leaving the decision to annex up to Israel.
The State of Israel was established in 1948. The United Nations recognized its independence, but its borders were never secure. The Arab states surrounding Israel— Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, and Syria– also gained independence prior to this, after the expiration of British and French mandates, each one with its allocated borders.
There was no Palestinian State at this time. What is called Palestine today was part of Jordan, and Gaza belonged to Egypt. Jordan released control of Palestine to Yassar Arafat of the PLO. The Oslo Accords of 1993 gave the PLO autonomy of sections of the West Bank— which Israel calls Judea and Samaria— captured during the Six Day War of 1967.
Israel has built settlements in Judea and Samaria, living together with the Palestinian Authority, run by Mahmood Abbas, with security cooperation between them. Judea and Samaria is divided into designated areas. Area A under full Palestinian control, Area B under Palestinian civil control and Israel security control, and Area C under full Israel control
The situation has been status quo from when the areas were divided up in Judea and Samaria since then. However, international pressures will not allow for the situation to remain the way it is today, and want a two-state solution. European lawmakers have written a letter, signed by 1,080 parliamentarians from 25 nations, for decisive action to safeguard the two-state solution, and a just resolution of the conflict.
The Arab League has warned that if Israel will go ahead with the planned annexation of the Jordan Valley, it could ignite a religious war. The head of the Arab League warned at a high-level UN meeting on Wednesday that Israel’s annexation of the West Bank would endanger Middle East peace. Ahmed Aboul Gheit, secretary general of the 22-member organization, said that annexation would endanger the process of peace today, and might injure chances of making peace in the future.
President Trump’s peace plan calls for dividing the area of Judea and Samaria, securing for Israel part of the territory, with the rest becoming part of a Palestinian State. The Palestinians have rejected the plan, and refuse to talk. With Trump’s re-election uncertain, Israeli hardliners are encouraging Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to move ahead quickly with the annexation.
Defense Minister Benny Gantz also wants to go ahead with annexation, but has mentioned that he believes it may be better to work on annexation of the major Israeli settlements rather than annex it all at one time. Representatives of smaller settlements of Judea and Samaria have placed an objection to the annexation, according to the “Deal of the Century,” because it will isolate their settlements in areas surrounded by Arabs.
Netanyahu is also being pressured by the religious parties, who are against a two-state solution, on grounds that it will endanger Israel in the way Gaza has become a danger to Israel today. The land of Israel is sacred to the Jewish people, and the Zionist religious elements are not afraid of a religious war with the Arabs over sacred land.
US officials are discussing this week whether to give Israel a green light on annexation. The target date of Prime Minister Netanyahu is July 1. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made a statement that he regrets that the Palestinian Authority has refused to participate. Annexation is Israel’s choice.
Meanwhile, Israel has tried to return to normalcy, allowing schools, synagogues, and businesses to function according to guidelines of the Ministry of Health. This includes wearing masks, social distancing, and hand washing. Nevertheless, schools have had to close down.
Infections have increased daily. Two of the cities have been placed on partial shutdown because of the number of infections in the areas. The hospitals have been prepared for serious cases, like in the beginning of the breakout.
At least seven Iranians were killed in two air attacks across Syria overnight. Israeli intelligence has warned that Iran may avenge these attacks, and Israel has to be on the guard.