The annexation plan is "like an arrow" Where is the situation between Palestine and Israel going?
The United Arab Emirates made a rare statement on the 12th regarding Israel's plan to annex parts of the West Bank. UAE Ambassador to the United States Yusuf Al-Oteba wrote in the Israeli media that Israeli move would worsen relations with Arab countries.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reiterated many times recently that the plan to annex parts of the West Bank will begin as early as July 1. However, analysts pointed out that, due to internal and external opposition and other domestic issues, although the annexation plan has been "arrowed on the string", it is still unknown whether Netanyahu can proceed smoothly, and it remains to be seen how the Palestinian side will react.
Netanyahu had thrown out an expansion plan as early as April last year before the parliamentary elections, claiming that after winning the election, he began to expand Israeli territory to parts of the West Bank. The United States announced the so-called "New Middle East Peace Plan" at the end of January this year, favoring Israel on major issues such as Jerusalem affiliation and the legitimacy of Jewish settlements, making Netanyahu more confident.
In April this year, Netanyahu signed a coalition government agreement with Gantz, the leader of the middle-party blue and white party. According to this agreement, Israel will promote the "implementation of sovereignty" of Jewish settlements in the Jordan Valley and the West Bank from July 1st under the "New Middle East Peace Plan" of the United States, involving about 30% of the land area of the West Bank %.
The new Israeli government headed by Netanyahu was officially sworn in on May 17. Netanyahu said on May 25 that "sovereignty" over parts of the West Bank is a "primary task" for the new government, and Israel cannot miss "historical opportunities." On May 28, Netanyahu also said that after Israel "exercises sovereignty" over the Jordan Valley, Palestinians living there will not have Israeli citizenship, and Palestinian towns and villages located there will remain Palestine The "enclave" under its jurisdiction, but its security is under Israeli control.
Double pressure inside and outside
The international community generally opposed Israel’s annexation plan. During his visit to Israel on the 10th, German Foreign Minister Mas said that Israel’s plan violates international law and Germany still supports the two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli problem.
Israeli political commentator Heb Kennon pointed out that Foreign Minister Ashkenazi could have used the joint press conference held with the German Foreign Minister to "sell" the annexation plan, but he did not do so, perhaps because the plan " It’s almost impossible to get to market.” Israel Regional Foreign Policy Research Director of the European Relations Project Maya Sion Zidkiahu also said in an interview with Xinhua News Agency that regardless of the degree of Israeli annexation, the EU will regard this move as a violation of international law.
In addition, the Israeli government's annexation plan has also caused domestic people to worry. On the 6th of this month, thousands of Israeli people held a protest rally in Tel Aviv. They held a placard that read "No to annexation, no to occupation, support for peace and democracy", and opposed the government's annexation of parts of the West Bank.
Analysts pointed out that although Netanyahu is determined to win the position, he faces dual pressures from both inside and outside when implementing the annexation plan. Internationally, the United Nations, the European Union and other international organizations, as well as many countries have clearly expressed their opposition; at home, Netanyahu is currently in a lot of trouble, including the obvious rebound of the new crown epidemic, the domestic economy is dragged down, and his own corruption-related cases began to be heard. Waiting for a while, there are still many oppositions at home and abroad to force the annexation plan may bring unexpected political shocks.
The prospects for peace talks are unknown
The Palestinian-Israeli peace talks have stagnated since 2014, and the issue of Jewish settlements has always been a major obstacle. The Palestinian side insists that unless Israel completely stops the construction of Jewish settlements, it will refuse to resume peace talks. But Israeli settlement construction activities have never stopped. In the face of Israel’s imminent implementation of the annexation plan with the support of the United States, Palestinian President Abbas announced in May that Palestine would cease to implement all agreements reached with the United States and Israel.
According to Israeli media reports, the Israel Defense Forces are already preparing for the worst possible situation after the annexation. The report quoted some analysts as saying that once the annexation plan is implemented, it will trigger violence and provoke extremism, "causing waves" throughout the region.
However, there are also views that Palestine’s position has been loosened recently, or it may bring a turning point for the Palestinian-Israeli peace talks.
Text/Xinhua News Agency