EU foreign ministers vow to fight annexation

“We must work to discourage any possible [Israeli]  initiative toward annexation,” said EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell on Friday.

By World Israel News Staff and AP

During a video-conference on Friday, European Union (EU) foreign ministers expressed staunch opposition to Israel’s plan to extend sovereignty over Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.

The EU officials reaffirmed their support for a Palestinian state and agreed to ramp up efforts in coming days to put pressure on Israel to scrap annexation plans.

“We reaffirm our position in support of a negotiated, two-state solution. For this to be possible, unilateral action from either side should be avoided and, for sure, international law should be upheld,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said after chairing the meeting.

“We must work to discourage any possible initiative toward annexation,” Borrell told reporters in Brussels. “International law has to be upheld. Here, and there, and everywhere.”

Experts in international law such as George Mason University’s Eugene Kontorovich have debunked the argument that Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria are “illegal.” The U.S. State Department also released in 2019 an opinion that the presence of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria does not violate international law.

Borrell made no mention of the use of sanctions on Friday, saying only that the EU will use “all our diplomatic capacities in order to prevent any kind of unilateral action.”

The EU has long been committed to forcing Israel to relinquish Judea and Samaria, territory it gained from Jordan in 1967 when the Hashemite Kingdom and three other Arab nations attacked Israel during the Six-Day War.

The EU bloc has already rejected President Donald Trump’s Mideast plan, which would allow Israel to annex Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.

Jordan has been lobbying the EU to take “practical steps” to make sure annexation doesn’t happen.