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UN expert calls for EU to punish any Israeli annexation in West Bank

U.N. special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories, Michael Lynk, has called for the European Union to punish any moves by Israel to annex parts of the occupied West Bank.

Lynk maintains that the EU must back up warnings against annexation with actionable countermeasures.  This includes possible economic, trade or other sanctions.

“We have reached a point where resolutions without resolve can no longer contribute to reaching the just and durable peace and human security that Palestinians and Israelis deserve”, he added.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has also warned against further annexation which would threaten any chance of peace with Palestinians, who seek a State which includes the territory of the West Bank.

 

EU response

This call sanctions were also made by over 1,000 European lawmakers who maintained that “commensurate consequences” were needed if Israel, which has more than 400,000 settlers in the West Bank, continued with annexing parts of the occupied West Bank. The EU has maintained that annexation must not go unchallenged.

Reuters has stated, however, that there is no clear EU strategy on how to stop Israel’s plan or how to respond in a meaningful way if annexation goes ahead.

 

Trump’s Middle East plan

Israel’s move to possible annexation stems from US President Donald Trump’s Middle East plan which aims to grant Jerusalem to Israel as well as recognising Israeli sovereignty over Palestinian territory in the occupied West Bank.

Read more from Reuters and our previous reporting here.