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Israel: Italy-German-France-Spain against annexation

Plans could increase threats against State, ambassadors say

01 July, 18:00

    'Day of Rage' in Gaza to protest Israel annexation 'Day of Rage' in Gaza to protest Israel annexation

    TEL AVIV - Israeli annexation plans will increase threats towards Israel, said in a letter published by Walla the ambassadors to Israel of Italy, Gianluigi Benedetti, of Germany, Susanna Azum-Reiner, of France, Eric Danon, and of Spain, Manuel Gomez-Acebo. The letter was a sign of growing EU pressure against Israel's plans that should start today. The ambassadors stressed that their constant and steady work to promote security in Israel and stability in the region brought them to fear the ''adverse and long-lasting consequences of a potential annexation''. The ''negative'' consequences could include, they added, ''a possible destabilization of the West Bank and the growth of tension in the entire region. Moreover, regional voices have already highlighted the risk about the fact that a similar step could endanger flourishing Israeli relations with Arab States''. ''Our States - they continued - attribute maximum value to the principles of international law such as the one regarding a ban on unilateral border changes''.

    Opening their intervention published by Walla, the four EU representatives recalled the ''solid friendship'' that each of their countries ''has built with the State of Israel and its population''. They wrote that, in consideration of this long friendship and the work for security in Israel, they stressed their governments' thoughts on the possible annexation of parts of the West Bank. The move would be a ''violation of various principles on which we have collectively built our basic rules ever since the Second World War''. The ambassadors then stressed that their respective countries ''will not recognize any change of 1967 borders, except for those agreed by both sides'' and that ''any decision to annex would have consequences on the close relationship'' with Israel.

    Israel is today at a crossroads, they denounced. ''We remain convinced that, despite hardships and difficulties, the only way out of this conflict remains a negotiated solution with the obligation for both sides not to take unilateral steps'', they said.

    ''Moreover - they concluded - we are strongly engaged in continuing to act on Palestinians so they can engage in meaningful direct talks to reach a global agreement that is reciprocally acceptable, based on a two-State Solution in conformity with international law and agreed parameters''.

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