Annexation Puts EU-Israel Cooperation at Risk, EU Foreign Policy Chief Says

'Peace cannot be imposed, it has to be negotiated, however hard this can be,' writes Josep Borrell in support of multilateral initiative to restart Israeli-Palestinian talks

Noa Landau
Noa Landau
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
EU Foreign Affairs High Representative Josep Borrell arrives for a press conference following a videoconference with EU Defence Ministers in Brussels on June 16, 2020.
EU foreign affairs high representative Josep Borrell arrives for a press conference following a videoconference with EU Defence Ministers in Brussels on June 16, 2020.Credit: Olivier HOSLET / POOL / AFP
Noa Landau
Noa Landau

The European Union's foreign policy chief Josep Borrell reiterated the regional institution's rejection of the prospect of Israeli annexation of parts of the West Bank on Wednesday, saying it could put the relationship between the EU and Israel in jeopardy.

In a blog post written on the European Union External Action website, he lent his support to a statement released after a multilateral meeting between Egypt, France, Germany and Jordan, which vowed not to recognize any changes to the 1967 borders.

"We will spare no diplomatic efforts to help Israel understand the risks of proceeding with the unilateral annexation of parts of the West Bank,” Borrell wrote, adding that it was "in no one’s interest for this relationship [between the EU and Israel] to retract."

Borell also warned that the annexation would have negative consequences on regional stability, including on Israel's own security, but also had "implications for the whole rules-based international order, affecting other conflict zones."

The foreign ministers of Egypt, Germany, France and Jordan issued a joint statement Tuesday saying that they categorically reject Israel’s plan to annex part of the West Bank, and that such a move would “violate international law and could also have an impact on relations with Israel.”

"We would not recognize any changes to the 1967 borders that were not agreed by both parties to the conflict," the statement said. It also offered "support in opening a path to negotiations” between Israelis and Palestinians.

After missing his July 1 target date to start the annexation process, Prime Minister Netanyahu said that he would continue to discuss the matter with the Trump administration.

In June, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas warned Netanyahu that other nations would cast sanctions on Israel, and possibly officially recognize a Palestinian state, if Israel follows through on its intention to annex part of the West Bank.

In all of his meetings with Israeli officials during his visit, Maas stressed that unilateral annexation violates international law and UN decisions, and it would be difficult for Germany to support such a move. His remarks come after the Belgian Parliament began to appeal to the government in recent weeks aiming to recognizing a Palestinian state in response to Israeli annexation. Other countries in Europe and Latin America are considering a similar move.

Late last month, more than 1,000 lawmakers from 25 European countries signed onto a statement opposing any unilateral Israeli annexation of West Bank territory.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN


Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

The projected rise in sea level on a beach in Haifa over the next 30 years.

Facing Rapid Rise in Sea Levels, Israel Could Lose Large Parts of Its Coastline by 2050

Tal Dilian.

As Israel Reins in Its Cyberarms Industry, an Ex-intel Officer Is Building a New Empire

Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III and a British synagogue.

How the Queen’s Death Changes British Jewry’s Most Distinctive Prayer

Newly appointed Israeli ambassador to Chile, Gil Artzyeli, poses for a group picture alongside Rabbi Yonatan Szewkis, Chilean deputy Helia Molina and Gerardo Gorodischer, during a religious ceremony in a synagogue in Vina del Mar, Chile last week.

Chile Community Leaders 'Horrified' by Treatment of Israeli Envoy

Queen Elizabeth attends a ceremony at Windsor Castle, in June 2021.

Over 120 Countries, but Never Israel: Queen Elizabeth II's Unofficial Boycott