UNITED NATIONS (AP) – Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit warned at a UN meeting on Wednesday that Israel’s intention to annex parts of the West Bank would increase tensions, jeopardize peace in the Middle East and could unleash “A religious war within and beyond our region.”
The leader of the 22-member organization said the annexation will also have “broader ramifications for international security around the world.”
“If implemented, Israel’s annexation plans would not only be detrimental to the current chances for peace, but would destroy any possibility of peace in the future,” he told the Security Council. “The Palestinians will lose faith in a negotiated solution, I am afraid that the Arabs will also lose interest in regional peace. There will be a new and dark reality in this conflict, and in the region in general. “
It is a few days before July 1, the date on which the agreement with the coalition of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu allows an annexation plan to be presented.
Israel captured the West Bank from Jordan during the Six Day War in 1967 and has built dozens of settlements in which nearly 500,000 Israelis currently reside, but never formally claimed it as Israeli territory due to strong opposition from the international community.
Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon told the council that “should Israel decide to extend its sovereignty, it will do so in areas where it has always maintained a legitimate and legal historical claim.”
Palestinians, who have broad international support, aspire to make the West Bank the foundation of their future independent state. Israeli settlements in the West Bank are considered by most of the world community to be illegal under international law.
UN Secretary General António Guterres opened the meeting by calling on Israel to drop its annexation plans, a call similar to that of almost all participants, including half a dozen ministers and vice-ministers.
Guterres said the annexation “would constitute an extremely serious violation of international law, seriously harm the possibility of a two-state solution and undermine the chances of resuming negotiations.”
Guterres urged the United States, the European Union and Russia to quickly assume their role as moderators, together with the UN, as part of the so-called Quartet “and to find a mutually agreed framework for the parties to get involved again, without preconditions, with us and other key states ”.