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Ex-Israel security officials warn against annexation of West Bank

A Palestinian man comforts a child after their home was demolished by Israeli authorities in Ramallah, West Bank on 12 June, 2019 [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]
A Palestinian man comforts a child after their home was demolished by Israeli authorities in Ramallah, West Bank on 12 June 2019 [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]

Senior members of the Israeli intelligence community have expressed concerns over the far-right views amongst large sections of the Israeli Knesset. In a letter sent to members of the US Congress yesterday, 25 former Israeli senior security and defence officials warned against Israel's annexation of the West Bank and thanked US lawmakers for endorsing the two-state solution to the Israel- Palestine conflict.

Their letter appears to have been a response to a separate letter sent over a week ago by members of the Israeli Knesset to US lawmakers warning that a two-state solution is "far more dangerous to Israel" than a global campaign to boycott the Zionist state. It was signed by 21 Knesset members and come on the heels of a resolution passed by the US Congress last month. Known as House Resolution 246, the bill rejected the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel but also explicitly called for the establishment of a Palestinian state.

After thanking the US lawmakers for their overwhelming support against BDS the 21 Knesset members criticised their endorsement of a Palestinian state: "We believe it contains a grave error because it expresses, among other things, support for a so-called 'Two-State Solution,' meaning the establishment of a 'Palestinian state' in the heart of tiny Israel… We would like to make our position clear that the establishment of a Palestinian state would be far more dangerous to Israel than BDS."

Yesterday's letter however warned against the extreme rejectionist stance of the Knesset members. "Any unilateral annexation of territory or extension of sovereignty to the West Bank will put Israel's security and safety along with the well-being of its citizens at risk," the letter signed by former heads of the Mossad and the internal security service Shin Bet, said.

After expressing their appreciation for Resolution 246 which affirmed "strong support for a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict resulting in two states," the former security officials said: "We look forward to future bipartisan congressional initiatives that explicitly identify annexation as a threat to Israel's security, and Jewish and democratic future."

UN: 'Israel bent on further annexation'

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