Palestine Update 367
Alliance for Justice between Israelis and Palestinians
Steering Committee of the German Coordination Palestine
Israel Kairos Palestine Solidarity Network in Germany
Attention of the High EU Representative for Foreign Affairs,
Mr Josep Borrell, The Foreign Ministers of the European Union
Subject: Annexation of parts of the West Bank by the State of Israel
Dear Mr. Borrell,
Dear Foreign Ministers of the EU member states
The new coalition agreement between Netanyahu and Gantz follows Trump’s so-‐called “peace plan” and includes a plan for the annexation of Palestinian territories from 1 July 2020. This would be a blatant violation of international law, in particular of the Fourth Geneva Convention which regulates the rights and obligations of an occupying power such as Israel, as well as of various UN resolutions, most recently No. 2334 of December 2016.1
Such action can no longer be accepted by merely “expressing grave concern.” Any support for Israel must be made conditional on its compliance with international law and human rights. We therefore call upon the European Union and the EU member States in the event of an annexation:
- to end military cooperation with Israel, including the arms trade
- to suspend the EU-‐Israel Association Agreement
- to ban imports of Israeli settlement products
- to enact a trade ban for companies that have business relations with Israeli settlements or that benefit economically from settlements and monitor compliance with that ban.2
Annexation will entrench the on-‐going violation of Palestinian rights. With the annexation, Israel will also make the settlements official state territory – in violation of international law.
Since its foundation in 1948, Israel has expanded its national territory from 55% to currently 78% of the former Mandate Palestine, and with the new annexation it will be even more. The Palestinians are left with fragmented, non-‐contiguous territories (“Bantustans”) that cannot form a viable, economically and politically independent state. These territories will also be surrounded by Israeli territory and will have no external border with any other state, cementing Israel’s total control over exports and imports.
Thus the two-‐state solution which defines the policy of the EU and member states will be finally buried. One area to be annexed is the fertile Jordan Valley, which is vital for Palestinian agriculture. Only 50,000 Palestinians remain from the 250,000 who lived there in 1967. They live under the dominance of 9,000 Israeli settlers. The annexation gives rise to fears of further displacement of the remaining Palestinian population.
Even now, the Palestinian population living under occupation in the West Bank and Gaza is suffering daily violations of its human rights: restrictions on freedom of movement through hundreds of checkpoints and through the system for applying for permits, arbitrary detention (including of children) without charges and without a trial (so-‐called administrative detention), house demolitions and expulsions, land theft through continuous expansion of Israeli settlements and outposts, limited access to water, restrictions on economic development, and more. Amnesty International says: „During more than half a century of occupation Israel has imposed a system of institutionalized discrimination against Palestinians under its rule, denying them basic rights…”3
The coalition agreement does not provide for the granting of civil rights to Palestinians in the annexed territories. The annexation will create an apartheid state. Fifty six former members of the Knesset have warned against this: “Annexation would mean a fatal blow to the possibility of peace and the establishment of an Apartheid State.”4 Fifty former EU politicians also warned that implementing the Trump Plan would lead to apartheid.5
Instead of repeated expressions of concern or verbose protests without consequences, the European governments and the EU must take effective steps such as the above-‐ mentioned measures to ensure that the State of Israel finally respects international law and grants human rights to the Palestinians. Israel’s insistence on occupation, expansion of settlements and annexation not only violates international law, but also makes a peaceful future between the two peoples impossible.
It is time to recognize the state of Palestine.
Gisela Siebourg Hektorstrasse 17 DE 10711 Berlin (telephone +49 30 3270 3770) KoPI – German Coordination Palestine – Israel
KPS -‐ Kairos Palestine Solidarity Network in Germany
BIP -‐ Alliance for Justice between Israelis and Palestinians
2 Here is the report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on economic relations with Israeli settlements and the database of participating companies: https://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=25542&La ngID=E
3 https://www.amnesty.org/en/countries/middle-‐east-‐and-‐north-‐africa/israel-‐and-‐ occupied-‐palestinian-‐territories/
4 https://de.scribd.com/document/456829672/Statement-‐by-‐56-‐Former-‐Members-‐of-‐ the-‐Israeli-‐Parliament-‐Against-‐Annexation
5 https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/apr/14/europe-‐must-‐stand-‐by-‐the-‐two-‐ state-‐solution-‐for-‐israel-‐and-‐palestine