The European Union’s top diplomat on Monday warned the Zionist Entity against annexing parts of the West Bank, saying the bloc would not recognize any changes to the 1967 lines not agreed upon in a peace deal with Palestine.
In a statement congratulating the formation of a new government, Josep Borrell also said the EU was willing to help restart long-dormant peace talks between Tel Aviv and the Palestinian Authority.
“International law is a fundamental pillar of the international rules-based order. In this respect, the EU and its member states recall that they will not recognize any changes to the 1967 borders unless agreed by Israelis and Palestinians,” Borrell said, adding that “the two-state solution, with Al-Quds (Jerusalem) as the future capital for both states, is the only way to ensure sustainable peace and stability in the region.”
Borrell said the EU viewed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s commitment to push forward with annexation with “grave concern.”
“We strongly urge Israel to refrain from any unilateral decision that would lead to the annexation of any occupied Palestinian territory and would be, as such, contrary to international law,” he said.
Presenting his new government on Sunday, Netanyahu said Israeli law should be extended over West Bank land.
“These regions are the cradle of the Jewish people. It is time to extend Israel’s law over them. This step won’t bring us further away from peace, it will get us closer. The truth is, and everyone knows it, that the hundreds of thousands of settlers in Judea and Samaria will always stay put in any future deal,” he said.
Borrell’s statement came several days after EU foreign ministers met to discuss possible responses if the occupation government annexes West Bank settlements and the Jordan Valley.
On Friday, Borrell said the EU would work to “discourage” any Israeli initiative toward the annexation of parts of the West Bank and devote diplomatic efforts for a solution.
Speaking at a press conference in Brussels after a virtual meeting with EU foreign ministers, Borrell said the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict “remains a priority and it is one of the strategic interests of the European Union.”
Source: Israeli media