‘War crime’: Arab League blasts Israel’s plan to annex Judea and Samaria

The Arab League urged the U.S. to pull its support from Israel’s plan.

By World Israel News Staff

An emergency Arab League meeting on Thursday called Israel’s plan to annex parts of Judea and Samaria a “war crime” and urged the U.S. to oppose it.

The meeting of Arab foreign ministers was held virtually due to the pandemic. It was called at the request of the Palestinian Authority.

Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad Malki claimed during the meeting that under Israel’s plan the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem would eventually be “demolished and replaced by the ostensible Temple,” The Jerusalem Post reported.

Arab foreign ministers issued a joint statement at the meeting declaring, “The implementation of plans to annex any part of the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967, including the Jordan Valley … and the lands on which Israeli settlements are standing represents a new war crime … against the Palestinian people.”

Two weeks ago, the Arab League’s Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit warned UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres that Israel’s plans risked “igniting tension in the region.”

He accused Israel of “exploiting the world’s preoccupation with the novel coronavirus to impose a new reality on the ground.”

On Thursday, Malki said Israel’s plan would “transform the conflict from a political to a religious conflict that will go on forever because the Palestinians would not accept it and won’t accept anything less than the borders of 1967 to establish their state, with East Jerusalem as its capital,” the Post reported.

Aboul Gheit added that the Arab League would continue to regard Judea and Samaria as “occupied territories in accordance with international law.”

The Arab League meeting comes on the heels of the formation of a unity government in Israel between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Blue and White leader Benny Gantz.

An Israeli unity government opens the way for Israel to advance annexation plans in the Knesset as early as June 1. Israel’s annexation will come in the context of Trump’s Mideast peace plan and the U.S. has already signaled it would support it.

Last Wednesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said of annexation, “Israelis will ultimately make those decision.”

Netanyahu said in a special broadcast on April 26 that in “a couple of months,” Israel will establish sovereignty in Judea and Samaria.

“Three months ago, the Trump peace plan recognized Israel’s rights in all Judea and Samaria and President Trump pledged to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Jewish communities there and in the Jordan Valley,” Netanyahu said.

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“A couple of months from now, I’m confident that that pledge will be honored, that we will be able to celebrate another historic moment in the history of Zionism,” he said.

Israel gained control of Judea and Samaria in the 1967 Six-Day War, a conflict in which the Jewish State carried out a preemptive strike on four Arab nations posed to invade.

Currently, hundreds of thousands of Israeli Jews live in Judea and Samaria, in addition to another 200,000 Israelis who live in eastern portions of Jerusalem.