Israel’s plan to annex illegal Israeli Jewish settlements and the Jordan Valley in the occupied West Bank “is likely to spark a series of negative consequences”, the country’s Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) warned on Tuesday.
“The idea of unilateral annexation of territories in the West Bank, while supported by [US] President [Donald] Trump, is likely to spark a series of negative consequences, and should therefore be avoided,” the INSS said in a long and detailed research document published on its website.
The research stressed that the “progress toward annexation is expected to propel a series of significant events with negative consequences for Israel, led by the termination of security cooperation with the PA [Palestinian Authority] and the collapse of the PA.”
It also stated that the annexation means “the assumption of responsibility for 2.5 million Palestinians by Israel…, the allocation of national resources to annexation at the expense of Israeli economic recovery, and more generally, support of the ‘path of resistance’ identified with Hamas and weakening of the ‘path of negotiation’ identified with PA President Mahmoud Abbas.”
According to the research,
Annexation measures are liable to create a very long defense border, prevent future negotiations, and could also lead to increased international recognition of Palestinian claims.
The research also expected that the annexation would negatively affect Israel’s relations with Egypt and Jordan.
“The Jordanian response to annexation is liable to have a negative impact on cooperation toward safeguarding Israel’s longest border and even on the peace treaty, and similar consequences for relations with Egypt are possible,” the research said.
It added: “Other than the current United States President, who supports the measure, it appears that no other party in the world or the Middle East will recognize the annexed territory as part of Israel, while some parties may recognize Palestinian rights to a state in all of the West Bank.”
Giving its recommendation to the new Israeli government, the INSS said: “The new government is to refrain from unilateral annexation measures in the West Bank.”
The research recommended that Israel upgrade its actions in two aspects: “Perpetuating the separation between the PA in the West Bank and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.”
It stated that this could be achieved through “strengthening the PA as the sole legitimate party for a future settlement.” Therefore, “Israel should release deferred payments, supply electricity and water, and expand employment of laborers from the PA.”
And through agreeing on “a prolonged ceasefire with Hamas in the Gaza Strip, following but separate from a release of security prisoners held in Israel in exchange for the return of Israeli civilians and bodies of Israeli soldiers held by Hamas.”