U.K. 'Concerned' by Possible Israeli Annexation of Parts of West Bank

British foreign secretary warns of damage to re-starting talks following Netanyahu's announcement that he would bring annexation to a cabinet vote

Noa Landau
Noa Landau
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Britain's Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab is seen outside Downing Street in London, Britain, January 28, 2020.
Britain's Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab is seen outside Downing Street in London, Britain, January 28, 2020. Credit: REUTERS/Peter Nicholls
Noa Landau
Noa Landau

The United Kingdom is "concerned" by a possible Israeli annexation of parts of the West Bank, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said in a statement Friday.

"Any such unilateral moves would be damaging to renewed efforts to re-start peace negotiations, and contrary to international law," said Raab. "Any changes to the status quo cannot be taken forward without an agreement negotiated by the parties themselves."

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The statement came a few days after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told journalists, following the unveiling of the Donald Trump administration's plan for Israeli-Palestinian peace, that he would be bringing annexation to the cabinet on Sunday. Jared Kushner, a senior Trump aide and the president's son-in-law, said after Netanyahu's comments that he hoped Israel would not annex settlements before its March election.

When Kushner was asked whether the Trump administration would support an immediate annexation measure, Kushner said: "No, we've agreed with them on forming a technical team to start studying the maps."

The main points of the Trump administration's plan include: The creation of two states, while safeguarding Israel's security; formation of a committee to draw up a detailed map as a basis for negotiations; a four-year freeze on Israeli settlement expansion; Jerusalem as Israel's capital; and a Palestinian capital in an East Jerusalem neighborhood, beyond the separation barrier.

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