The four EU members of the UN Security Council — Belgium, Estonia, France and Germany — plus Poland, which has just left the council, on Wednesday warned against Israel’s planned annexation of occupied Palestinian territory.
The five countries expressed grave concern over Israel’s plan to annex parts of the West Bank as stated by the prime minister when presenting his government to the Knesset (parliament) on May 17 and as envisaged in the coalition agreement signed earlier.
“We strongly urge Israel to refrain from any unilateral decision that would lead to the annexation of any occupied Palestinian territory and would be, as such, contrary to international law,” said the five countries in a joint statement.
“International law is a fundamental pillar of the international rules-based order. In this respect, we recall that we will not recognize any changes to the 1967 borders, unless agreed by Israelis and Palestinians,” said the statement.
The two-state solution, with Jerusalem as the future capital for both states, is the only way to ensure sustainable peace and stability in the region, it said.
The five countries congratulated the new government in Israel and looked forward to continuing to work with the Israeli government in a constructive and comprehensive way.
They showed their willingness to support and facilitate resumed direct and meaningful negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians in order to resolve all final-status issues and achieve a just and lasting peace. “We stand ready to engage immediately with the new government and with all relevant stakeholders,” said the statement.