Israel's ex-UK ambassador Mark Regev warns of 'two-state illusion'

Clay Curtis
July 4, 2020

"Annexation would put in jeopardy the progress that Israel has made in improving relationships with the Arab and Muslim world", wrote Johnson.

Israel's unity government formed in May, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to start annexing parts of Palestinian territory in the West Bank on July 1.

"For decades, Jewish settlements in the West Bank have expanded, jeopardizing any possible establishment of a sovereign Palestinian state alongside Israel", he said. The worldwide community has endorsed a two-state solution based on the pre-1967 lines, with final borders to be worked out in negotiations.

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 plan would establish a disjointed Palestinian state with limited autonomy in carved-up pockets of the remaining land.

The plan has come under strong global criticism.

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Switzerland has condemned the planned annexation of parts of the West Bank by Israel as a violation of worldwide law.

Earlier this week, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged Israel not to go ahead with the annexation of part of the occupied West Bank.

Mr Johnson claimed the violation of global law would "jeopardise the progress that Israel has made in improving relationships with the Arab and Muslim world" and would be "seized on" by Israel's "enemies". But a reckless annexation would make Israelis less, not more, secure, while depriving Palestinians of the independent state they deserve.

The Elders - led by former Irish President Mary Robinson with Mandela's widow Graca Machel and former U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as co-chairs - said annexation "is fundamentally contrary to the long-term interests of both the Israeli and the Palestinian peoples".

Writing in the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth on Wednesday, Mr Johnson described himself as "a passionate defender of Israel" but warned that annexation would represent a violation of global law. Sommaruga said Switzerland would refuse to recognise any territorial changes to the region that were not agreed upon by both sides.

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