There will be “significant consequences” for the European-Israel relationship if Israel extends its sovereignty to parts of the occupied West Bank, European Union (EU) High Commissioner for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell warned, addressing the European Parliament on Thursday.
“Annexation would inevitably have significant consequences for the close relationship we currently enjoy with Israel,” Borrell said. “I will not prejudge the specific impact of a possible annexation, but let me underline that the EU has its own obligations and responsibility under international and EU law.”
Borrell added that he was delegated to use all of the EU’s “diplomatic capacities in order to put pressure for that not to happen” and that he expressed “the gravity of such an announcement” in conversations with Israel’s alternate premier Benny Gantz and foreign minister Gabi Ashkenazi.
At the same time, Borrell pointed out that there is “a strong, very strong majority of countries that continue supporting a negotiated two-state solution based on international parameters and considering that any annexation would be against international law.”
Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu recently threatened more than once to take steps to annex large tracts of the occupied West Bank and Jordan Valley as of July 1st, as part of the US deal of the century.
The West Bank, including east Jerusalem, is designated as occupied territory under international law. As a result, all Jewish settlements, as well as the planned annexation, are illegal.