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Israel West Bank annexation rejected by European MPs in letter – BBC News

More than 1,000 parliamentarians from across Europe have signed a letter strongly opposing plans by Israel to annex parts of the occupied West Bank.

The letter raises “serious concerns” about the proposals and calls for “commensurate consequences”.

More than 240 signatories are legislators in Britain. The Israeli embassy in London declined to comment.

The publication of the letter in several newspapers comes a week before the annexation process could begin.

According to a power-sharing deal which led to the formation of the current Israeli government last month, annexation can be put to a vote from 1 July.

The project is being led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is seeking to extend Israeli sovereignty over parts of the West Bank containing Jewish settlements.

If passed, the move could incorporate up to 30% of the territory – land claimed by Palestinians for a future independent state of their own.

Israel’s incorporation of the settlements was given the green light under US President Donald Trump’s Vision for Peace – a plan for ending the decades old Israel-Palestinian conflict unveiled in January.

‘Fatal to prospects of peace’

The letter, sent to European foreign ministries, warns that unilateral annexation of West Bank territory could be “fatal to the prospects of Israeli-Palestinian peace and will challenge the most basic norms guiding international relations”.

It is a sign of growing international pressure over the proposals which stem from President Trump’s plan for the region, says the BBC’s Tom Bateman in Jerusalem.

The letter, signed by 1,080 parliamentarians from 25 countries, warns of the “destabilising potential” for the region.

Its British signatories include the Conservative Party’s former leader Lord Howard, former EU commissioner Lord Patten and Baroness Pauline Neville-Jones, a former counter-terrorism minister who previously chaired the UK’s Joint Intelligence Committee.

It is also signed by 35 members of Labour’s current front bench, including shadow foreign secretary Lisa Nandy.

The former Labour leader Lord Kinnock is a signatory, as is former defence secretary and Nato chief Lord Robertson, as well as the Labour MP Dame Margaret Hodge who campaigned against anti-Semitism in the party.

European names on the list include France’s security subcommittee chair, Nathalie Loiseau, Vice-President of the European Parliament Fabio Massimo Castaldo, and Ireland’s next Prime Minister, Michael Martin.

Sorgente: Israel West Bank annexation rejected by European MPs in letter – BBC News

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