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US Jewish groups warn Israel against West Bank annexation

A view of a wreckage, after Israeli forces demolished a house which was under construction, belongs to a Palestinian Ali Mohammad al-Allami with the claim of being unlicensed, at Beit Ummer district in Hebron, West Bank on 3 October 2019. [Mamoun Wazwaz - Anadolu Agency]
A view of a wreckage, after Israeli forces demolished a house in the, West Bank on 3 October 2019 [Mamoun Wazwaz/Anadolu Agency]

A coalition of US Jewish organisations sent a letter to leaders of Israeli political parties, warning them against full or partial annexation of occupied West Bank, Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported on Thursday.

Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, pledged on 17 September this year to annex Jordan Valley, which makes up 30 per cent of the West Bank area, if he is to be re-elected. According to liberal advocacy group J Street’s president, Jeremy Ben-Ami, “carrying out unilateral annexations in the West Bank would ultimately destroy Israeli democracy and lead the country down a disastrous path to permanent conflict.”

The letter stated that if the US president, Donald Trump, and his administration were to endorse the annexation, Israel should not take this as a sign of long-term American policy.

READ: Newly-appointed West Bank settler leader vows to achieve annexation

“Simply put, the approach of this president does not represent the long-term interests and likely future policy of the United States,” the US Jewish groups warned.

In March 2019, the US ignored a decades-long international consensus and recognised Israel’s annexation of the occupied Golan Heights.

The coalition stressed that the annexation could run harm Israel’s relations with the US Jews because the “vast majority of American Jews support a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

Up to 13 groups signed the letter, including ten members of the Progressive Israel Network – an umbrella coalition that includes J Street and the New Israel Fund.

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