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Convened by organizations and parties from the left and the Arab sector in Israel, around 4,000 people have joined their voices and flags (Israelis and Palestinians) to demonstrate against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's intention to annex the Jewish settlements this summer in 30 % of the West Bank. His electoral promise to "exercise sovereignty in Judea and Samaria" gained momentum last January with the announcement of the peace plan of US President Donald Trump, which, in return, foresees the creation of the Palestinian state, although under very favorable territorial conditions. for Israel.
"Annexation will definitely end the two-state solution. I don't want to live in a state that controls another people without giving them rights. We must do everything we can to avoid something that will harm us all, both Israelis. like Palestinians, "affirms the leader of the leftist Meretz party, Nitzan Horowitz , in an interview with EL MUNDO before delivering his speech to protesters gathered in Rabin Square in Tel Aviv, under the limitations that the coronavirus still imposes on a country in clear de-escalation after successfully overcoming the pandemic.
Recalling the rally's catchphrase "no to annexation and occupation and yes to peace and democracy," Horowitz hopes Netanyahu will not do what they call a "dangerous step" but knows that it all depends on whether Trump gives him the green light. . "The US assures that it is part of a plan that will lead to the creation of a Palestinian state but it is something unilateral. There is no negotiation or anything like that. Unfortunately, the objectives of the extremists here and the evangelists there have been united . the annexation would be a war crime and a crime against democracy " , he warns.
The serious internal situation in the United States and the opposition of broad sectors in Israel, including the reservations of the centrist leaders of the unity government - Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Foreign Gabi Ashkenazi - as well as announcements from the Palestinian leadership, Jordan and the The European Union could delay the announcement planned in early July about part of the territories that Israel occupied in the war of '67.
"Netanyahu wants to carry out this political action without caring about the consequences that we will all pay with the aim of diverting attention from his corruption trial," accuses former leftist leader Zehava Galon while the leader of the Joint List (Arab bloc in Parliament Israeli), Ayman Odeh , warns if there is annexation, Israel will become an "Apartheid State".
"I am against annexation because I am for peace and for a Palestinian state next to Israel," says the famous Israeli singer and well-known pacifist Noa.
Beyond his performance, he highlighted the intervention of the American leader Bernie Sanders . "You are not alone. There are millions of people in the United States and in the world who support peace. We must work together to build a peaceful future for every Palestinian and every Israeli," Sanders said in a recorded video. He added: "The plan for illegal annexation by the West Bank must stop."
But the opposition in Israel to unilateral annexation does not belong only to the more militant left. Many former high-ranking officials of security organizations such as Amos Gilad, Ami Ayalon or Amos Yadlin , warn that "it could cause a wave of Palestinian violence and terrorism, enormous damage to the strategic peace agreements and the fight against Iran, European economic sanctions and greater spending on security and defense "to the detriment of other portfolios as important in the current crisis caused by the virus as Health, Economy or Tourism.
Opposition of settlement leaders
In recent days, however, Netanyahu must quell an unexpected resistance due to its intensity and that it is much more concerned at the political level: several settlement leaders and the more nationalist sector oppose Trump's plan because it forces the acceptance of a State Palestinian in 70% of the remaining territory. "We want the law on our towns in Judea and Samaria to finally apply but we give up on the plan if it opens the door to the creation of a Palestinian state in the heart of the land of Israel as it would jeopardize the security of the Israelis" warns the leader of the Council of Settlements David Elhayani who even accused Trump and Jared Kushner of "not being friends with Israel".
Tump presented what he called the "Deal of the Century" in January in what was interpreted as a new aid to Netanyahu in the electoral campaign against his rival Gantz. After the March 2 elections and pressured by the coronavirus crisis, both reached a unity government pact, thus avoiding the fourth elections in a year.
"We cannot miss the historic opportunity to apply the law to our communities in Judea and Samaria," repeats Netanyahu, who will try to carry it out before the US election in November. Joe Biden has already announced his opposition to any unilateral action.
Palestinian President Abu Mazen denounces that "annexation violates the Oslo Accords and international law." As a first response to Netanyahu's statements, two weeks ago he ordered the cessation of security cooperation with Israel, hinting that he could announce with the disintegration of the Palestinian National Authority (ANP) if it is a reality.
Abu Mazen, who rejected the US plan long before it was presented, broke off contacts with the Trump Administration in response to the move of its embassy to Jerusalem or the announcement that the settlements are not illegal. Two measures that contradict the traditional international position and that of the United States itself.
Much of the demands, criticism and disenchantment of the most militant left-wing bases gathered in Tel Aviv have been addressed to Gantz whom, before the elections on March 2, they saw as the alternative to Netanyahu.
Gantz, who if the rotation agreement is fulfilled will be prime minister in November 2021, opposes unilateral annexation but in the government pact he failed to include the right of veto . Hence, everything depends on Netanyahu, who after eleven years in government sees the plan as his main legacy, and Trump.
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