The United States said it was ready to recognise Israel’s annexation of much of the occupied West Bank adding that Tel Aviv’s new unity government must negotiate with the Palestinians first.
“As we have made consistently clear, we are prepared to recognise Israeli actions to extend Israeli sovereignty and the application of Israeli law to areas of the West Bank that the vision foresees as being part of the State of Israel,” a State Department spokesperson said yesterday.
The step would be “in the context of the Government of Israel agreeing to negotiate with the Palestinians along the lines set forth in President [Donald] Trump’s Vision,” she said.
The statement came after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he was confident that the US would give Israel the approval within two months to move ahead with the annexation of the occupied West Bank, which Palestinians say will end the ability of establishing a two-state solution.
Since Trump took office, he has recognised Israel’s sovereignty over the entirety of occupied Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, despite the fact that this decision contradicts international law and UN Security Council resolutions, which consider the Arab lands seized by Israel in 1967 as occupied.
Palestinians have expressed outrage at Israel’s annexation plans.
“Israel is also exploiting the blind ideological support it has in the White House to quickly reach the point of no return,” member of PLO’s Executive Committee Hanan Ashrawi said on Sunday.
“Israeli actions are unraveling the practicability and applicability of the two-state formula. They are etching a future of perpetual conflict and suffering while also threatening the core and relevance of international law to global peace and security,” she added.
Arab Foreign Ministers will meet on Thursday to discuss measures Arab states can take should Israel annex the West Bank, Wafa news agency reported.
The meeting will be held through video conferencing, and will discuss providing political, legal and financial support to the Palestinian Authority to “confront the Israeli plans”.