UAE condemns Israel's 'dangerous' plans to annex occupied West Bank

Israel's actions are 'unacceptable' and will have dangerous repercussions , the UAE says

epa08234709 A Palestinian boy holding a flag of Palestine attends with his father a protest against US President Trump's so-called 'Deal of the Century' aimed at solving the conflict between Palestinians and Israel, in the streets of Gaza City, Gaza Strip, 21 February 2020.  EPA/MOHAMMED SABER

The UAE condemned Israel's plan to annex large areas of the occupied West Bank during an emergency Arab League session attended by the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr Anwar Gargash, state news agency Wam reported.

The meeting on Thursday was held at the request of the Palestinian Authority and conducted by video to observe rules of social distancing brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

The annexation plan "is a dangerous development that would undermine international efforts to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict", the UAE said in a statement carried by Wam.

Israel's action is "unacceptable, violates international law and impedes the peace process", it said.

The UAE warned of "dangerous repercussions" and said the move could "fuel" extremism, and terrorism in the region".

The international community must "fulfil its responsibility in calling for an end to all settlement activity in the Occupied Palestinian Territories" and "reject Israeli actions that violate international resolutions", it said.

At Thursday's meeting the Arab League urged Washington to  "withdraw its support in enabling the plans of the occupying Israeli government".

In January US President Donald Trump released a controversial plan to resolve the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Palestinians have flatly rejected the plan partly because it awards Israel most of what it has sought during decades of occupation, including nearly all the land on which it has built settlements.

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyadh Al Maliki said the US proposals would rule out any chance of peace and stability.

He said the plan would "turn the battle from a political one to an endless religious war ... that will never bring about stability, security or peace to our region".

Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit accused Israel of “taking advantage of the global preoccupation with confronting the coronavirus epidemic to impose a new reality on the ground”.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on April 26 that the US would give Israel the nod within two months to move ahead with de facto annexation of parts of the occupied territory.

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