EU Countries Considering Sanctions if Israel’s Annexation Plan Moves Forward

Flag of the European Union. (Poto: File)

European Union representatives are set to meet in Brussels on Friday to weigh in on Israel’s plan for the illegal annexation of the occupied West Bank and mull sanctions if it proceeds with the illegal action, a report stated on Tuesday.

According to Israeli outlet Haaretz, foreign ministers of EU member states will meet in the Belgian capital to review proposed measures against Israel – should the government proceed with plans to annex parts of the occupied West Bank.

EU foreign policy spokesperson Peter Stano said that ministers will hold a video conference on Friday to discuss the annexation.

“Annexation is not in line with international law. If it goes ahead, the EU will act accordingly,” Stano told the European Commission’s daily press briefing on Monday.

Asked if Israel will be sanctioned by the EU, Stano said the decision was “up to the member states; at this stage, let’s not speculate”.

EU countries want to approve the planned sanctions as soon as possible to discourage Israel from going forward with its plan, while EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell is inclined to wait, the Haaretz report said.

France, Spain, Ireland, Sweden, Belgium and Luxembourg are all pushing for tough punishments against Israel if it ignores warnings on the annexation, sources familiar with the discussions told Haaretz.

A Reuters report confirmed the member states were pushing for a “tough EU response” to the planned annexation.

On April 20, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his main rival Benny Gantz signed a coalition agreement that includes a clause to advance plans to annex parts of the West Bank, including Israeli settlements, starting on July 1.

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

On May 6, US envoy to Israel David Friedman said that Israel is expected to annex large parts of the occupied West Bank within the coming weeks.

Israel in February began mapping the areas it seeks to seize control of as part of the plan, and is expected to finish that mapping process in the coming weeks, Friedman told Israel Hayom.

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

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