Arab League to Meet Urgently over Israel’s Annexation Plans

Arab League meeting. (Photo: via MEMO)

The Arab League said on Monday that it will convene an urgent virtual meeting this week to discuss how to galvanize opposition to Israeli plans to annex parts of the occupied West Bank.

The extraordinary meeting – scheduled for Thursday at the request of the Palestinian leadership – will bring together Arab foreign ministers via video conference, rather than a face-to-face meeting, due to the global coronavirus pandemic.

The Arab League’s deputy secretary Hossam Zaki said the ministers will “discuss in their virtual meeting providing political, legal and financial support to the Palestinian leadership to confront the Israeli plans”.

It comes after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his political rival Benny Gantz signed a deal for a unity government that could accelerate the premier’s plans to annex parts of the West Bank in the coming months.

Those Israeli plans – while subject to caveats, including the need to maintain “regional stability” and uphold the peace agreement with Jordan – have drawn wide criticism including from the United Nations and the European Union.

Arab League chief Ahmed Aboul Gheit last week sent a message to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warning against Israel’s plans saying they risk “igniting tension in the region”.

He also accused Israel of “exploiting the world’s preoccupation with the novel coronavirus to impose a new reality on the ground”.

In a video address on Sunday to a pro-Israeli Christian group in Europe, Netanyahu described the Middle East plan announced by President Donald Trump in January as a promise to recognize Israel’s authority over Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

Palestinians have expressed outrage at Israel’s plans to cement its hold further on land it seized in the 1967 war, the territory they are seeking for a future state.

(Palestine Chronicle, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, Social Media)

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