E.U. Warns Israel: ‘West Bank Annexation Will Not Go Unchallenged’

High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell speaks during a press conference after the EU foreign ministers meeting at the Europa building in Brussels on January 20, 2020. (Photo by Kenzo TRIBOUILLARD / AFP) (Photo by KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP via Getty Images)
KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP via Getty

TEL AVIV – The European Union has announced it will not accept any Israeli attempt to annex Jewish settlements in the West Bank, following President Donald Trump’s recently unveiled peace plan which supports Israeli sovereignty in those areas. 

“Steps towards annexation, if implemented, could not pass unchallenged,” a spokesperson for E.U. foreign policy representative Josep Borrell said in a statement.

“The European Union calls on both sides to re-engage and to refrain from any unilateral actions contrary to international law that could exacerbate tensions,” the statement read.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu initially said he would begin to take steps towards annexation this week but was stopped by the U.S. which said it would not support the move before the national elections next month.

About Trump’s peace proposal, entitled “Vision for Peace,” the E.U. said it “departs … from internationally agreed upon parameters.”

“The European Union will continue to support all efforts aimed at reviving a political process in line with international law, which ensures equal rights and which is acceptable to both parties.,” the spokesperson said.

A day earlier Borrell said the plan throws into question “the 1967 border, as agreed by both parties, with a state of Israel and an independent, viable state of Palestine, living side-by-side in peace, security and mutual recognition.”

“We share the commitment to a two-state solution and respect for international law,” he added.

Israel has in the past accused the E.U. of antisemitism when the European body said it would begin labeling products coming from Israeli settlements as such.

Trump’s plan, roundly rejected by the Palestinians, would see the establishment of a contiguous but demilitarized Palestinian state on most of the West Bank with parts of eastern Jerusalem that are outside the Israeli security fence as its capital.

Jerusalem would remain undivided and under Israeli control.

Israel would be allowed to annex all Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Jordan Valley.

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