UN: Guterres calls on Israel to withdraw from West Bank annexation plans

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on Israel to back away from its West Bank annexation plans, at a virtual meeting of the UN Security Council, New York City, Wednesday. «If implemented, annexation would constitute a most serious violation of international law, grievously harm the prospect of a two-State solution and undercut the possibilities of a renewal of negotiations,» Guterres said. «I call on the Israeli Government to abandon its annexation plans.» «All of us who believe in the legitimate right of both Palestinians and Israelis to self-determination, security and a brighter future must reject this move and consolidate efforts to preserve a sustainable two-State solution,» said UN Special Coordinator for Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov. «Israel is testing the resolve of the international community, thinking its colonial appetite will prevail over the collective international will to advance regional peace and security,» said Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs Riyad al-Maliki. Israeli Permanent Representative to UN Danny Danon in turn said, «There is a strong and undeniable connection between the Jewish people and their historic homeland of Judea and Samaria. This has been true for over three millennia and no Palestinian propaganda can change that.» Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged to annex land in the West Bank occupied by Israeli settlements, in addition to other parts of the area, including the Jordan Valley.
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