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May 20, 2020 12:54 pm

Israel Must Abandon West Bank Annexation Threat, Says UN Middle East Envoy

avatar by Reuters and Algemeiner Staff

UN Middle East envoy Nickolay Mladenov. Photo: UN Photo / Loey Felipe.

Israel must not go ahead with West Bank annexation, the UN Middle East envoy said on Wednesday.

“The continuing threat of annexation by Israel of parts of the West Bank would constitute a most serious violation of international law, deal a devastating blow to the two-state solution [and] close the door to a renewal of negotiations,” UN Middle East envoy Nickolay Mladenov told the Security Council.

Israel must abandon its threat of annexation. And the Palestinian leadership to re-engage with all members of the quartet,” he added, referring to the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations.

Mladenov urged the 15-member council to back a push by UN chief Antonio Guterres against unilateral steps that would hinder diplomatic efforts to renew negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

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Such a statement by the council is unlikely as it has to be agreed by consensus and the United States traditionally shields its ally Israel from any action.

“This council cannot dictate the end to this conflict,” US Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft said on Wednesday. “We can only encourage the parties to sit down together to determine how they wish to make progress.”

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