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UN Security Council to address Israel’s annexation plan later this month: Palestine UN envoy

A picture taken from the E1 corridor, a super-sensitive area of the occupied West Bank, shows Israeli settlement of Ma’ale Adumin in the background on February 25, 2020. (Photo by AFP)

A high-ranking Palestinian official says the UN Security Council is scheduled to convene later this month to discuss Israel's controversial plan to annex much of the occupied West Bank, and to rally international pressure on the regime to abandon the decision.

Palestinian Ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour told the official Voice of Palestine radio station on Thursday that a meeting will be held on the 20th of this month, with the rotating President of the UN Security Council, Sven Jürgenson, and President of the UN General Assembly, Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, in attendance, Palestine’s official Wafa news agency reported.

Mansour highlighted that the State of Palestine is resolved to form “a powerful and broad international front of all components of the international community to confront the [Israeli] policies of annexation.”

Moreover, Malta has expressed serious concerns over Israel's decision to annex parts of the West Bank.

The Southern European country’s foreign ministry said in a statement the plan constitutes a violation of the international law and the existing global order, and undermines international efforts aimed at the so-called two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Separately, Turkey on Thursday strongly condemned Israel’s plans to construct thousands of new housing units in the West Bank.

In a statement, the Turkish Foreign Ministry described the move as a “continuation of Israel’s policy of occupation and oppression.”

It said the plan indicated “Israel’s drive to continue usurping the rights of Palestinians through blatant illegal settlement activity.”

The criticism came a day after the Israeli minister for military affairs, Naftali Bennett, granted the green light for the expansion of the Efrat settlement, located 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) south of Jerusalem al-Quds, by about 275 acres (1.11 square kilometers), when he endorsed the plan for some 7,000 new settler units in the 11,000-resident municipality, Israeli English-language daily newspaper the Jerusalem Post reported.

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates condemned the Israeli plan later in the day.

“Such Israeli decisions constitute an utter disregard for the international law and a flagrant defiance of the international outcry against Israeli settlement construction activities and the potential annexation plan,” the ministry said in a statement.

It added, “Such settlement construction approvals also constitute an act of disrespect for international warnings that increased settlement construction activities and possible annexation of parts of the West Bank would gravely threaten regional stability, and would undermine the prospects for the [so-called] two-state solution.”

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