NEW DELHI – Over 1,000 members of European Parliament (MEPs) have challenged Israel’s plan to annex parts of the occupied West Bank. As the July 1 deadline set by Israel nears, the MEPs, representing several countries across Europe have signed a letter strongly opposing Israeli plan. The letter raises “serious concerns” about the proposals and calls for “commensurate consequences”.
The Israeli embassy in London declined to comment, says BBC. Several newspapers in EU member countries have published the letter.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had announced last month that his government will annex 30 per cent of the occupied West Bank area. Netanyahu had disclosed the plan during an interview with the Israeli newspaper Makor Rishon. The plan has been opposed throughout the Arab and Muslim world.
Meanwhile, Senior aides to US President Donald Trump on Tuesday began discussions on whether to give Netanyahu a green light for his plan, Middle East Monitor reported quoting a US official and a person familiar with the deliberations.
The White House meeting included Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, national security adviser Robert O’Brien, Middle East envoy Avi Berkowitz and the US ambassador to Israel David Friedman, the US official said.
Trump, whose support Netanyahu is counting on, did not participate, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. But US sources have said he could join in later as this week’s deliberations continue.
Under Trump’s Middle East peace proposal unveiled in January, it is envisaged that the United States would recognize the Jewish settlements – built on land the Palestinians seek for a state – as part of Israel. Trump’s proposal would eventually create a Palestinian state under a broader peace plan but impose strict conditions on it. Palestinian leaders have completely rejected the initiative.
Encouraged by Trump’s push, Netanyahu intends to launch his project of extending sovereignty over the settlements and the Jordan Valley, hoping for US approval. Most countries view Israel’s settlements as illegal, and Palestinian leaders have voiced outrage at the prospect of annexation.