UK cautions Israel: ‘Unilateral moves would be damaging’

“Any changes to the status quo cannot be taken without an agreement negotiated by the parties themselves,” said the foreign secretary.

By World Israel News Staff 

After highlighting an initially positive view of the Israeli-Palestinian peace plan presented by President Donald Trump on Tuesday, Britain is now cautioning Israel against using the plan to move ahead with extending Israeli sovereignty to parts of Judea and Samaria.

“Any such unilateral moves would be damaging to renewed efforts to re-start peace negotiations, and contrary to international law,” said UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.

“Any changes to the status quo cannot be taken forward without an agreement negotiated by the parties themselves,” he added, in a statement issued by the British Foreign Office.

The U.S. is recognizing Israel’s right to sovereignty over areas that would include most existing Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria. However, Washington seemed to be acting to slow the process envisioned by Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Trump announced the details of the plan together with Netanyahu at the White House. The prime minister immediately announced that he would bring the issue of sovereignty to the Israeli cabinet for approval at its Sunday meeting.

Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser said to have been the main force in formulating the plan, hurried to comment that the Israeli government would not be acting that swiftly on the issue.

Trump has stated the plan cannot work without the cooperation of the Palestinian Authority (PA).

After confirming the delay in bringing the issue of sovereignty to the cabinet, Israeli officials insisted that the approval was put off due to technical reasons and not because of U.S. objections.

Israel’s Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit is reviewing the legal ramifications of imposing sovereignty unilaterally, according to media reports, including whether it contradicts international law in any manner.

Speaking to the House of Commons on Wednesday, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson highlighted what he viewed as the positive sides of the Trump plan, stating that it has “the merit of a two-state solution”… and “would ensure that Jerusalem is both the capital of Israel and of the Palestinian people.”

UK Foreign Office minister Andrew Morrison said Thursday that “we owe America and its president at least the time to consider this plan…This doesn’t mean we endorse its contents.”