The Israeli prime minister’s announcement of his intention to annex the entirety of the Jordan valley and Dead Sea as well as his plan to annex all illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank is unquestionably reprehensible. The gravity of this clear statement of criminal intent is compounded by the assured close coordination and support from the Trump administration, which is now a partner in these intended crimes, today said Hanan Ashrawi, member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).
She said in a statement that Benjamin Netanyahu’s announcement “was overloaded with overt racism and reflected his agenda of hastened ethnic cleansing of up to 60% of the occupied West Bank. This was glaringly evident in his announcement that the planned annexation would not include a single Palestinian, whom he assured were “free to leave”, including to Jordan. Such remarks are abhorrent and alarming.”
Ashrawi added: “Netanyahu’s agenda has always been about theft of Palestinian land and resources as well as the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people. This announcement is a declaration of war against the Palestinian people’s rights as well as the very foundations of the international rules-based order. This lawlessness is a threat to international peace and security and it condemns the entire region to perpetual conflict and compounded suffering. The international community has a duty to be proactive and to steer clear from complacency. The world cannot afford to fail in stopping this runaway train of right-wing, racist, and hostile politics in Israel.
“The acquisition of territory by force is a flagrant violation of the UN Charter and international law and all Israeli settlements constitute a war crime under the Rome Statute. In light of Netanyahu’s announced agenda, permanent members of the Security Council have a duty to respond with immediate action, in line with their responsibilities under the UN Charter. Further, these developments should move the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to assume her responsibilities and open an investigation without any further delay. The only way to stop this downward spiral that Israeli politicians are creating in complicity with the Trump administration is by exacting a price to this criminal conduct, including through sanctions, boycott, and divestment.
“We will not surrender to the dictates of a desperate and racist politician who is plunging the entire region into conflict and strife.”