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Britain does not support Israel’s annexation of West Bank, says Boris Johnson

July 2, 2020 at 10:51 am

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at No. 10 Downing Street, in London, UK on 5 September 2019 [Kate Green/Anadolu Agency]

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that his country does not support Israel’s proposed annexation. Johnson made his views known in an opinion piece for Yedioth Ahronoth.

“I profoundly hope that annexation does not go ahead,” he wrote. “If it does, the UK will not recognise any changes to the 1967 lines, except those agreed between both parties.”

The Prime Minister pointed out that he is a “passionate defender of Israel” and that Britain’s “commitment to Israel’s security will be unshakable” while he is in Downing Street.

“As a life-long friend, admirer and supporter of Israel, I am fearful that these proposals will fail in their objective of securing Israel’s borders and will be contrary to Israel’s own long-term interests.” Annexation, he said, would undermine progress made recently by Israel to advance its relations with the Arab and Muslim world. Furthermore, it would “represent a violation of international law [and] be a gift to those who want to perpetuate the old stories” about the state.

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“I have never been more convinced that Israel’s interests overlap with those of our closest partners in the Arab world, including potential security cooperation against shared threats,” said Johnson. “But, however strong their interest in a different kind of relationship with Israel, annexation would inevitably set back these opportunities and constrain potential Arab partners.”

Speaking about historic British support for Israel, the Conservative Party leader said that he is “immensely proud of the UK’s contribution to the birth of Israel with the 1917 Balfour Declaration. But it will remain unfinished business until there is a solution which provides justice and lasting peace for both Israelis and Palestinians.” Talks, he insisted, are the best way for this.

“I still believe the only way to achieve true, lasting security for Israel, the homeland for the Jewish people, is through a solution that allows justice and security for both Israelis and Palestinians.”