Israel Freezes Annexation Plans ahead of ICC Investigation

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (Photo: File)

Israel’s plans to annex the occupied Jordan Valley have been frozen following the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) decision to launch a full investigation into alleged war crimes in the Palestinian territories, reports Ynet News.

The first Israeli ministerial team meeting to discuss the plans for annexing the Jordan Valley, scheduled to take place last week, was canceled last minute due to concerns that it could intensify confrontation with the ICC.

An Israeli government source told Yedioth Ahronoth:

“Because of the prosecutor’s decision in the Hague, the issue of the Jordan Valley annexation will be put on a long hold”.

As Ramzy Baroud, journalist, author and editor of The Palestine Chronicle commented:

“In recent times, Israeli politicians are now openly plotting what was once nearly unthinkable: The unilateral annexation of major Jewish settlement blocks in the West Bank, along with large swaths of the Jordan Valley.”

“The US-Israeli war on Palestinians was staged on two fronts,” Baroud added. “One front focused on the seizure of more Palestinian land and the building of new and the expansion of existing settlements as a precursor to the imminent step of annexing most of the West Bank. The other front witnessed the relentless US administration pressure on Palestinians through political and financial means.”

Indeed, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has voiced “firm” opposition to a bid in the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate alleged war crimes committed by Israel in the occupied Palestinian territories.

After nearly four years of preliminary investigation, the ICC’s top prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said on Friday that the war crimes probe would be expanded into a full-scale inquiry, looking into whether Israel has carried out atrocities in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, as well as Gaza.

(The Palestine Chronicle, MEMO, Social Media)

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