U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged Israel on Tuesday to drop plans to apply sovereignty over parts of the West Bank and the Jordan Valley, saying it would be a “most serious violation of international law.”
The warning was contained in a report to the Security Council that comes ahead of its twice-yearly meeting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, set for Wednesday. Several ministers are set to take part at the request of the Arab League.
In the document, Guterres says an Israeli annexation would be “devastating.”
“I call upon Israel to abandon its annexation plans,” the U.N. chief says in the report, claiming such a move would “threaten efforts to advance regional peace.”
“If implemented, this would constitute a most serious violation of international law, including the Charter of the United Nations.”
Not everyone agrees with the U.N. in its outright rejection of Israel.
Nikki Haley, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, wants the move to proceed:
The Trump peace plan smartly allows for both Israeli sovereignty over territories essential to its security and an independent Palestinian state. The plan should move forward. Thank you to the members of Congress who are standing up for Israel, peace, and security.
— Nikki Haley (@NikkiHaley) June 23, 2020
Former Governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee is also happy to support Israel:
As @IsraeliPM considers finally annexing areas of Judea/Samaria that are rightful, historical, Biblical, and ancestral land of Jews, I pray @realDonaldTrump @USAmbIsrael & Congress supports this important move.
— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) June 23, 2020
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said he would begin the process of applying sovereignty to the 132 Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Jordan Valley on July 1.
The plan — endorsed by Washington — would see the creation of a Palestinian state, but on reduced territory, and without Palestinians’ core demand of a capital in East Jerusalem.
The plan has been rejected in its entirety by the Palestinians.
As Breitbart Jerusalem reported, supporters of the Israeli government’s annexation plans say safeguarding Jewish settlements in the West Bank is essential to the security of the center of the country which they straddle and applying sovereignty to the Jordan Valley is key if Israel hopes to have a minimally defensible eastern border.
On Tuesday more than 100 House Republicans also affirmed their support for Israel.
“We write to reaffirm the unshakeable alliance between the United States and Israel, to emphasize that Israel has the right to make sovereign decisions independent of outside pressure, and to express our support for you as you make such decisions in your capacity as Israel’s democratically-elected prime minister,” read a letter signed by 116 GOP lawmakers that was sent to Benjamin Netanyahu.
“As dedicated friends of the Jewish state, we reaffirm our steadfast commitment to the relationship between our two nations and Israel’s right to sovereignty and defensible borders,” it said.
The letter was spearheaded by Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member Michael McCaul (R-Texas), Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.), and Rep. David Kustof (R-Tenn.).
The Security Council meeting, to be held by video conference, will be the last major international meeting on the issue before the July 1 deadline.
“Any decision on sovereignty will be made only by the Israeli government,” Israel’s U.N. Envoy Danny Danon said Tuesday in a statement that reaffirmed the Netanyahu government’s commitment to proceed as planned.