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Palestine urges Greece to oppose Israel's West Bank annexation plan

June 19, 2020 at 4:35 pm

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh in Ramallah, West Bank on 9 June 2020 [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]

Palestine urged Greece to take a position against the Israeli plan to annex large parts of the occupied West Bank.

In a telephone conversation, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh urged his Greek counterpart, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, not to undermine international law and the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination.

“The relations and common interests between Greece and Israel should not be at the expense of the Greek people and government’s faith in international law and the right of peoples to self-determination,” Shtayyeh told Mitsotakis.

We went on to ask the Greek official to recognise the state of Palestine, stressing that the international community must take serious steps to prevent the Israeli annexation of parts of the occupied West Bank.

“Greece must speak loudly against the Israeli annexation plans. Everyone must be alert to the possibility of Israel trying to ease up the international community’s opposition through gradual annexation,” he said.

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Earlier this week, Mitsotakis became the first leader to visit Israel since the coronavirus pandemic began, during which he and his Israeli counterpart, Benjamin Netanyahu, announced that tourism between the two countries will resume on 1 August if precautions to stop the spread of the disease permit.

Israel is one of the first countries Greece will allow travellers from without having to be quarantined following a gradual easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions.

Leaders from the two countries signed three deals in the fields of cybersecurity, agriculture and tourism.

The Israeli government is planning to start the annexation process for the occupied Jordan Valley and settlements in the occupied West Bank on 1 July. Palestinians estimate that the annexation will affect more than 30 per cent of the West Bank.