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US Democrats warn Netanyahu about Israel’s annexation plan

Palestinians gather to stage a protest against the Israel's annexation plan on 11 June 2020 [Abed Rahim Khatib/Anadolu Agency]
Palestinians gather to stage a protest against Israel's annexation plans on 11 June 2020 [Abed Rahim Khatib/Anadolu Agency]

Democrats in the US House of Representatives have drafted a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warning of the consequences of any further illegal takeover of Palestinian territory. In doing so, they join the near universal condemnation of Israel’s planned annexation of swathes of the occupied West Bank.

In the letter being circulated on social media, Democrat members of the House said that, “Unilateral annexation would likely jeopardise Israel’s significant progress on normalisation with Arab states at a time when closer cooperation can contribute to countering shared threats.” They added that annexation also risks insecurity in Jordan, with serious ancillary risks to Israel. The illegal move, the lawmakers noted, “Could create serious problems for Israel with its European friends and other partners around the world.”

Before warning Israel of the consequences of annexation, the signatories pointed out that they “are long-time supporters” of the state and that they “endorsed the pursuit of a negotiated peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians resulting in two states for two peoples.” That’s a peace formula which critics say is already impossible due to Israel’s illegal settlements across the occupied territories.

READ: Israel, US failed to reach agreement on annexation

Signatories of the letter include those from the right and left wings of the Democratic Party, indicative of the broad consensus against annexation. A majority of Democrats in the US Senate have shared similar concerns. At least 28 of the 47 Democrat Senators expressed their opposition to annexation on Monday in a letter to Netanyahu.

There has been near universal condemnation of next month’s annexation plan. Democrat Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi issued one of the strongest condemnations, warning Israel that it was endangering two of the fundamental pillars of Washington’s longstanding backing for Tel Aviv: US national security interests and bipartisan support.

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