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Abbas demands higher-level Security Council meeting on Israel’s annexation plans in West Bank

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A serpentine road extends between the Israeli settlement of Givat Zeev (background) and Palestinian villages near the Israeli-occupied West Bank city of Ramallah, on June 10, 2020. (Photo by AFP)

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has called for the forthcoming United Nations Security Council meeting to be held at a higher level, with foreign ministers in attendance instead of representatives, when it convenes later this month to discuss Israel’s controversial plan to annex large parts of the occupied West Bank.

Secretary General of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee, Saeb Erekat, told Arabic-language Voice of Palestine radio station on Saturday that Abbas had instructed Palestine's ambassador at the UN, Riyad Mansour, to push for an upgraded meeting on June 24, and also propose the formation of an international coalition against Tel Aviv's looming annexation attempt to the UN General Assembly.

Erekat then hailed the recent positions of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the European Union, Russia and China, stating that such stances show Palestine has been able to forge an international coalition in support of its cause.

Palestine has asked the EU to adopt an official position, impose sanctions on Israel if it proceeds with its annexation plan, and recognize the State of Palestine within 1967 borders, he pointed out.

Erekat finally called on Arab countries to provide financial assistance to Palestine, and help it overcome financial and political challenges in the face of Israel’s moves.

Netherlands, Morocco, Indonesia reject Israeli annexation plans

On Saturday, the Netherlands and Morocco opposed Israel’s plans to annex parts of the occupied West Bank, saying such a measure would breach international law and resolutions.

Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok and Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Sigrid Kaag both reiterated Amsterdam’s rejection of the Israeli settlement expansion policies, describing them as an obstacle to peace as well as a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The two ministers later highlighted that any Israeli annexation of Palestinian lands will be in violation of international law, and its acceptance will be a dangerous precedent in other conflict zones.

For his part, Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Nasser Bourita said any Israeli annexation of the occupied Palestinian lands would undermine all efforts aimed at establishing comprehensive peace.

He said his country will remain a staunch supporter of the Palestinian cause and the legitimate rights of Palestinians to live in freedom and dignity.

Bourita noted that Morocco was concerned about the dangerous repercussions of the Israeli annexation plans to regional security and stability.

Meanwhile, Indonesia sent out letters to OIC member states, the UN Security Council, the Non-Aligned Movement and heads of international bodies in condemnation of Israel’s land expropriation plans.

The identical letters, penned by Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi, criticized the Tel Aviv regime for endangering “peace and stability in the region” with its proposed plans, stressing that the scheme would also undermine “all efforts to reach a lasting political solution to the Palestinian issue based on the (so-called) two-state solution.”

“In line with its constitutional mandate and foreign policy priorities, Indonesia is committed to the Palestinian independence struggle, be it in bilateral, regional and various multilateral forums,” she said.

“The position of Indonesia remains unchanged in advocating Palestinian independence that is based on the [so-called] two-state solution with pre-1967 borders and East [Jerusalem] al-Quds as the Capital of Palestine,” Marsudi highlighted.

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was sworn into office for another term on May 17, has set July 1 for the start of cabinet discussions on extending “sovereignty” over settlements in the West Bank and the Jordan Valley.

In response to Israel’s decision, Abbas declared the end of all agreements signed with Israel and the United States on May 19.

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