Congress calls on parties to reject Israeli annexation plan

4 Jun 2020

Palestine

Below is an open letter to the 3 party leaders involved in programme for Government talks regarding Israeli government plans to annex parts of the West Bank and the Jordan Valley

Dear Party Leader,

The Israeli government has announced that its plan to annex substantial parts of the West Bank and the Jordan Valley could begin as early as July.

The annexation would have tremendous social and economic implications on Palestinian communities and workers. The plan is in fact expected to disconnect around 200,000 Palestinians from their socio-economic environment. 23 percent of the area to be annexed is privately owned Palestinian land, where the majority of the Palestinian agricultural sector is located and Palestinian workers gain their livelihoods. Vital water resources and fertile agricultural lands in the same areas would be permanently subject to the Israeli Land settlement law of 2017 which enables the Israeli government to control the properties of ‘’absentees’’ in Area C, and of properties it claims to be ‘’public property’’.

Moreover, the plan would further advance the implementation of the "Greater Jerusalem" law that enacted the annexation of three major settlement blocs that cover a land area of 175 square kilometers in the occupied Jerusalem district. This would destroy the prospect of any future negotiated agreement and the establishment of a Palestinian capital in the city. The annexation would break the territorial contiguity between East Jerusalem and the West Bank that is essential for the fabric of life of Palestinians and their ability to conduct sustainable independent lives in the future.

The proposed annexation plan is a stark violation of international law and unilaterally de facto nullifies the prospects for genuine negotiations leading to the realisation of a two-state solution based on United Nations Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 and the pre-1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as capital of a sovereign state of Palestine.

We therefore call on the government to urgently reject this plan, and to exert pressure on the Israeli government to block its further implementation. Refusing to allow the Occupied Territories Bill through to next stage of the democratic process would send the wrong signal at this crucial juncture and we urge you once again to move beyond mere condemnation to actions aimed at ending the culture of impunity enjoyed by Israeli authorities, and to take a lead in the EU and act on our international obligations not to render aid or assistance towards an illegal situation and flagrant breaches of international law.

I look forward to hearing from you on this important matter.

Yours sincerely,      

Patricia King, General Secretary

Gerry Murphy, President