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July 7, 2020 8:54 am

Egypt, France, Germany, Jordan Warn Israel on Annexation

avatar by Reuters and Algemeiner Staff

A general view picture shows a construction site in Efrat, in the Gush Etzion settlement bloc in the West Bank, Jan. 28, 2020. Photo: Reuters / Ronen Zvulun / File.

Egypt, France, Germany and Jordan warned Israel on Tuesday against annexing parts of the Palestinian territories, saying that doing so could have consequences for bilateral relations.

In a statement distributed by the German Foreign Ministry, the countries, which include two of Israel’s leading partners in the Middle East, said their foreign ministers had discussed how to restart talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

They, along with most other European countries, oppose Israeli plans that envisage annexing parts of the West Bank as part of a deal being promoted by US President Donald Trump’s administration.

The Palestinian Authority, which wants the West Bank for a future Palestinian state, opposes the move. The United States has yet to give its approval to the annexation plans.

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“We concur that any annexation of Palestinian territories occupied in 1967 would be a violation of international law and imperil the foundations of the peace process,” the European and Middle Eastern foreign ministers said after their video conference.

“We would not recognize any changes to the 1967 borders that are not agreed by both parties in the conflict,” they added. “It could also have consequences for the relationship with Israel.”

Israel declined to comment. But in a separate statement, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said he had told British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday that he was committed to Trump’s “realistic” plan for the region.

“Israel is prepared to conduct negotiations on the basis of President Trump’s peace plan, which is both creative and realistic, and will not return to the failed formulas of the past,” Netanyahu’s statement said.

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