The preconized date set by Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the annexation of Palestinian territory comprising Judea and Samaria better known as Westbank has passed. In the fall of last year, Israeli Prime minister announced his plan for the annexation of Jordan valley but changed it after forming a coalition government with the Kahol Lavan party of his political rival Benny Gantz. Now Israel is looking forward to annex parts of West bank which they occupied in the 6-day war of 1967.
Encouragement by US President Donald Trump in “Middle East Plan or Middle East peace plan” also boosted the confidence of the Zionist regime to reshape the borders of the Israeli state. Now despite the international outcry, Israel is looking well set for de-facto annexation of occupied lands.
Trump’s peace plan was a conceptual map proposed by US President in January 2020. Trump’s plan is not something new, it is like the 40-Year-Old Israeli initiative by the World Zionist organization’s Settlement Division.
In 1979, the World Zionist Organization released a plan titled “Master Plan for the Development of Settlements in Judea and Samaria, 1979–1983,” written by Matityahu Drobles, a former member of the Knesset for the Herut-Liberal Bloc—a precursor to today’s Likud party—and the head of the World Zionist Organization’s Settlement Division, the body responsible for planning and building settlements.
Trump’s plan is analogue to it in a way as both undermine Palestinian sovereignty over the lands. Both emphasize Israeli control over the land.
It is obvious that just like the Afghanistan Peace deal Trump administration wants to sell this deal as a major victory during his election campaign for the coming Presidential elections in November 2020.
Even though the Democrats and their presidential candidate John Biden are critical of Trump’s Peace Plan, but still Israel enjoys popular support from the United States. Moreover, Trump’s evangelical vision includes the support of American Christians which staunchly derives his pro-Israeli policies. But now it seems like both US and Israel want to keep it as much secret as they can. Netanyahu even avoided responding to the question about de facto annexation saying, ” the lesser I would speak about this the more we would get from it”. Likewise, Israel’s ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer, a key personality in driving the annexation agenda also remained quiet.
Israel’s government considers these occupied territories as an integral part of its state but at the moment is looking forward to extend its sovereignty in 30% of the Palestinian territory proposed in the Peace plan. Netanyahu wants to be a permanent microcosm of Zionists in the world. Most of the countries outright rejected this illegal plan and asked Israel to immediately discard it. Even Israel allies like the UK criticized Israel’s plan to annex west bank, asked Israel not to go ahead with annexation endeavor. Similarly, European countries also showed serious concerns over the annexation, with more than 1000 parliamentarians signing a letter to stop this breach of international law.
US administration is concerned about the fallout as this is going to increase instability in the region. But most likely this plan is reminiscent of major agreements and deals signed over the last few decades in Middle East and North Africa. Like Oslo accord, which guarantees the “right of the Palestinian people to self-determination. At the end of the day, these states are going to follow the pattern of world powers like what France did in Algeria post Second World War.
Even Israel’s 30 % annexation plan does not come in the context of negotiations or agreed upon the exchange of territories rather it is a unilateral move putting Palestinian stakeholders on the back foot, putting an end to “Two-State solution”.These illegal settlements are meant to ensure Israelis investment rights and to abduct the military rights of Palestinian Authority (PA). Eventually leading to another Bantustan like state in the name of Palestine.
This adventure is going to have serious security and Geo-political implications even beyond the region. Major Resistance powers Like Hamas (an Islamic militant organization based in Gaza) and Fatah (the second-largest party in the Palestinian legislative council) the political rivals, announced about cooperation to fight against Trump’s deal and annexation malice. Calling it a “dangerous Development” vowed to retaliate and to topple the Trump’s deal. Last year, when prime minister Netanyahu proclaimed his ill-will to merge west bank in Israel, there was a rocket attack during his campaign speech in Ashdod. This time more rockets are going to land as the military wing of Hamas recently released videos showing its missile arsenal capable of even targeting Tel Aviv. In the last couple of weeks, Hezbollah and Iran growing tension with Israel is also going to create more problems for Israel. In this scenario, the Trump administration, which is already occupied with the Pandemic, will not help Israel in case of any major confrontation. Even Arab countries including UAE and others, who gave green signal to Israel are now opposing the annexation. It is in the interest of both Israel and Palestine to negotiate politically and peacefully.
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Author: Usman Ali
About Author: Author is Undergraduate student of International Relations from NUML.
Edited By: #SnakeHunter (Editor PSF)
Note: The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Pakistan Strategic Forum.