An Israeli settlement on the West Bank. Photos by Getty Images
The government of the Netherlands expressed on Saturday its opposition to the projected Israeli move to annex parts of the occupied West Bank, saying the plan breaches international law and resolutions, reported Palestinian news agency Wafa.
Stef Blok, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, and Sigrid Kaag, the Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, reiterated the country’s position on the illegal Israeli settlements, describing them as an obstacle to achieving peace and a two-state solution.
Responding to a question by Thierry Baudet, leader of the Dutch Forum for Democracy, the two ministers confirmed that an Israeli annexation will be a breach of international law, and that accepting it will be a dangerous precedent in other conflict areas.
They expressed the Netherlands and the European Union’s commitment to pressure Israel to refrain from going ahead with the annexation.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had announced that his government intended to annex the Jordan Valley and all settlement blocs in the West Bank early next month.
The West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is seen as occupied territory under international law, thus making all Jewish settlements there -- as well as the planned annexation -- illegal.
Palestinian officials have threatened to abolish bilateral agreements with Israel if it goes ahead with the annexation, which would further undermine the two-state solution.
The annexation comes as part of US President Donald Trump's "Deal of the Century," which was announced on Jan. 28. It refers to Jerusalem as "Israel's undivided capital" and recognizes Israeli sovereignty over large parts of the West Bank
The plan states the establishment of a Palestinian state in the form of an archipelago connected through bridges and tunnels.
Palestinian officials say that under the US plan, Israel will annex 30-40% of the West Bank, including all of East Jerusalem.