More than 640,000 Jewish settlers live in the West Bank, including annexed East Jerusalem, among some three million Palestinians [File: Ariel Schalit/The Associated Press]
CAIRO – 24 June 2020: Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit called for Israel on Wednesday to abandon its plans to annex parts of the occupied West Bank.
FILE: Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit
Aboul Gheit stressed during his statement that the annex "will destroy any prospect for peace in the future."
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres also called on the Israeli government to abandon its annexation plans, reiterating longstanding goal of a two-state solution with an independent, contiguous, sovereign and a viable Palestinian state, with Jerusalem as the capital of both states.
This came during a UN Security Council video conference in which several government ministers participated.
FILE: UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres
In the document, Guterres says an Israeli annexation would be “devastating” for hopes of fresh negotiations and an eventual two-state solution.
“If implemented, this would constitute a most serious violation of international law, including the Charter of the United Nations.”
Annexation is the term applied when a state unilaterally proclaims its sovereignty over other territories. It is forbidden by international law.
The Israeli settlement of Givat Zeev, near the Palestinian city of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank. (AFP)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has claimed the plan is "not annexation", although it involves applying Israeli sovereignty to the parts of the West Bank which contain Jewish settlements, as well as most of a swathe of land along the West Bank's boundary with Jordan, known as the Jordan Valley.
The move could result in some 4.5% of Palestinians in the West Bank living in enclaves within the annexed territory, according to the Washington Institute.