Tel Aviv – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson reiterated his opposition to Israeli plans to annex parts of the West Bank in an op-ed published on Wednesday, a date set by the Israeli coalition as the first day from which steps towards annexation may be implemented.
In an opinion piece in the Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot, Johnson wrote: “It is with sadness that I have followed the proposals to annex Palestinian territory.
“As a life-long friend, admirer, and supporter of Israel, I am fearful that these proposals will fail in their objective of securing Israel’s borders and will be contrary to Israel’s own long-term interests.”
Most of the international community has spoken out against statements by Israeli Benjamin Netanyahu that he plans to annex Israeli settlements and the Jordan Valley in the West Bank, land Palestinians want as part of an independent state.
“Annexation would represent a violation of international law,” Johnson wrote.
Netanyahu on Tuesday played down the July 1 date after weeks of anticipation, saying that his government would be working on the annexation question “in the coming days.”
Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi told Israel’s Army Radio that he thought it was “unlikely” that annexation would happen on Wednesday.
“I do not know if there will be a declaration of sovereignty today.
“You have to ask Prime Minister Netanyahu,” he said.
Netanyahu can proceed with the move by either bringing proposals on annexation before the Israeli cabinet or parliament for a vote.