Israel, Palestine should hold direct talks for ‘two-states solution’

Clay Curtis
July 3, 2020

Describing it as the "illegal seizure of Palestinian land", Otaiba said "plans for annexation and talk of normalisation are a contradiction".

The developments cast further uncertainty over whether Israel will ultimately follow through on the explosive annexation initiative, which has drawn fierce global condemnations from some of Israel's closest allies.

But residents going about errands or sipping drinks at cafes were hardly focused on whether Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would seek to expand Israeli sovereignty to the community.

The tranquil settlement of Ariel could have found itself a focus of global attention on Wednesday had Israel defied worldwide criticism and advanced plans to annex parts of the West Bank.

"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", Johnson wrote, adding that annexation would put in jeopardy the gains Israel has made in recent years in improving relations with the Arab world.

Netanyahu met USA envoys on Tuesday to discuss annexation within the framework of Trump's Middle East peace plan, and said afterwards that such talks would continue for several days. In January the United States put forward a plan to bring up to a third of the West Bank under direct Israeli control and leave Palestinians with limited autonomy in pockets of the remaining land.

Several thousand brandished Palestinian flags and placards condemning Trump at a rally in Gaza City, while demonstrations were building in the West Bank cities of Ramallah and Jericho.

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Randi Skurka, acting CEO for StandWithUs Canada - a charitable group dedicated to informing the public about Israel and to combating anti-Semitism-said they plan to have trucks at the Toronto-area events to fight back against the "vicious anti-Israel hate" and agenda of these hate groups to end Israel's existence.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson published an op-ed today calling on Israel to cease its plans to annex the West Bank.

Israel plans to impose Israeli sovereignty on about 30 per cent of the West Bank, though a formal announcement expected this week could now be weeks or months away, according to New York Times reporting.

The Palestinian leadership, major European countries and Arab states all object to annexation.

"Annexation would represent a violation of worldwide law", he said. Israel captured those areas in a 1967 war and withdrew soldiers and settlers from Gaza in 2005.

The EU has also strongly opposed the United States plan, mounting a diplomatic campaign against the project.

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