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Turkey condemns Israeli plan to annex occupied West Bank

Turkish Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hami Aksoy holds a press conference in Ankara, Turkey on 26 April 2019. [Fatih Aktaş - Anadolu Agency]
Turkish Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hami Aksoy holds a press conference in Ankara, Turkey on 26 April 2019 [Fatih Aktaş/Anadolu Agency]

Turkey has condemned Israel’s plan to annex the occupied West Bank, calling it “an extremely dangerous mindset aimed at extorting occupied Palestinian lands.” The spokesman of the Foreign Ministry in Ankara, Hami Aksoy, made his comment in a written statement issued today.

“We believe that such grave steps, which would undermine international law and wound the common conscience of humanity, would not be accepted or supported by any member of the international community who has a sense of justice and responsibility,” explained Aksoy.

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The Israeli decision was made on Monday following the formation of an emergency unity government led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and opposition leader Benny Gantz. Both figures pledged to seize land in the strategic Jordan Valley and the land occupied by Jewish settlements, which are illegal under international law.

Aksoy called on the international community to “stand against Israel’s unilateral illegitimate initiatives” and to “embrace the vision of a two-state solution, based on established parameters and the 1967 borders.”

He emphasised Turkey’s support for the Palestinian cause and the creation of an independent Palestinian state. “This is crucial to the region as a whole,” he added, “as peace will not come to the Middle East without ending the [Israeli] occupation and annexation policies.”

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The annexation of the West Bank has long been in Israel’s sights, but was established as a renewed and primary goal in US President Donald Trump’s “deal of the century” unveiled earlier this year. The US “peace plan” was drafted to give vast military and territorial advantages to Israel while stripping the Palestinians of their own armed security forces and around 30 per cent of the West Bank.

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