Friction at UN as Secretary General orders Israel: ‘Abandon your annexation plan’

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres calls on Israel to halt annexation and says plans constitute a violation of international law.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

In a virtual United Nations Security Council meeting, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres demanded that Israel halt plans to annex the Jordan Valley and parts of Judea and Samaria on Wednesday.

In a report, Guterres said, “I call upon Israel to abandon its annexation plans.” Annexation, he wrote, would “threaten efforts to advance regional peace.”

“If implemented, this would constitute a most serious violation of international law, including the Charter of the United Nations.”

“I call on fellow members of the Middle East Quartet to take up our mandated mediation role and find a mutually agreeable framework for the parties to re-engage, without preconditions, with us and other key states,” he said.

“The goal is achieving the vision of two states – Israel and an independent, democratic, contiguous, sovereign and viable Palestinian state – living side by side in peace and security within secure and recognized borders, based on the pre-1967 borders, with Jerusalem as the capital of both states,” Guterres said.

UN Special Envoy to the Middle East Nickolay Mladenov echoed Guterres’ sentiments.

Mladenov, who previously praised the collaboration between the Israeli and Palestinian authorities in managing the coronavirus crisis, said annexation “would be calamitous for Palestinians, Israelis and the region.”

The Palestinians may respond with “anger, radicalization and violence,” he warned.

Israel moving forward with annexation over the objections of the Palestinians could irreparably damage relations between the two sides, Mladenov added.

Pushing annexation, he said, “will send one message and one message alone – bilateral negotiations cannot achieve a just peace. We cannot allow this to happen.”

“Diplomacy must be given a chance,” Mladenov said.

On Wednesday, Israel’s ambassador to the UN Danny Danon responded in a statement, “Any decision on sovereignty will be made solely by the Israeli government.”

Later, Danon addressed the UN Security Council. In a summary of his speech posted to his official Twitter account, he said, “The Palestinian leadership has built a false narrative of the conflict and continues to fight for solutions that do not include a Jewish state.”

“They are encouraged by some in the international community, who have adopted the Palestinan narrative and believe failed solutions are still relevant.”

“Since the beginning of the conflict, the Palestinians have chosen rejectionism over realism. They reject the idea of a Jewish state. They do not want a Palestinian state beside a Jewish state, but at the expense of a Jewish state.”