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June 21, 2020 9:27 am

Rep. Hoyer, 115 Democrats Sign Letter Objecting to Israeli Annexation

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Houses are seen in the Israeli settlement of Itamar, near Nablus, in the West Bank, June 15, 2020. Photo: Reuters / Ronen Zvulun. – US House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and 114 other Democrats have signed onto a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz to express opposition to Israel possibly applying sovereignty to the West Bank.

In addition to Hoyer, House Appropriations Committee chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) and Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chair Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) are among the 115 Democrats who have added their names to a letter initially authored by Reps. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), Ted Deutch (D-Fla.), David Price (D-NC) and Brad Schneider (D-Ill.).

“We have consistently endorsed the pursuit of a negotiated peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians resulting in two states for two peoples and a brighter future for the Israeli people and the Palestinian people,” states the letter. “In that vein, we write today to express our deep concern that the push for unilateral annexation of territory in the West Bank after July 1st will make these goals harder to achieve.”

The members of Congress also said annexation “risks insecurity in Jordan, with serious ancillary risks to Israel.”

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They added that “finally, unilateral annexation could create serious problems for Israel with its European friends and other partners around the world. We do not see how any of these acute risks serve the long-term interest of a strong, secure Israel.”

The letter added to the growing list of Democrats in both the House and US Senate expressing opposition to the upcoming expected Israeli move.

Netanyahu’s government plans to enact sovereignty starting July 1.

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