Annexation Of Jordan Valley
Arab nations condemn Netanyahu’s pledge
JERUSALEM, Sept 11: Arab and Muslim countries on Wednesday led a wave of outcry after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to annex a key part of the occupied West Bank if re-elected.
The pre-election promise late Tuesday drew immediate condemnation from Arab powerhouses with many warning of disastrous consequences for the stagnant Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
"The announcement constitutes a dangerous development and a new Israeli aggression," Arab foreign ministers said after an Arab League meeting in Cairo. They also warned in a statement of "the ramifications of these dangerous, illegal and irresponsible" moves saying it would "undermine the chances of progress in the peace process".
Jordanian and Palestinian officials said any such measure risks "killing off" and "destroying" the entire peace process, which has failed to make any progress for years.
Damascus "strongly condemned" Netanyahu's vow, with a Syrian foreign ministry source telling the state news agency SANA that it was an "expansionist" plan which would be a "flagrant violation" of international treaties. Israel occupied the West Bank in the 1967 Six-Day War in a move never recognised by the international community.
It also seized -- and later annexed -- part of the Golan Heights from Syria.
Saudi Arabia flagged the announcement as a "dangerous escalation", calling for an "emergency meeting" of the foreign ministers of the 57 member states of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
Beyond the Arab world, Turkey slammed Netanyahu pledge as "racist". -AFP