16 June 2020
Almost 50 UN human rights experts have condemned Israel’s plan to annex parts of the occupied West Bank, calling it a “vision of a 21st Century apartheid”.
Such a move would violate international law and leave what would amount to “a Palestinian Bantustan”, they warned.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says in July he may start the process of applying Israeli sovereignty to Jewish settlements and the Jordan Valley.
Such a move was effectively green-lighted by Donald Trump’s peace plan.
Mr Trump’s Vision for Peace, released in January, also envisages a Palestinian state in the remaining 70% of the West Bank, all of Gaza, and with its capital on the fringes of East Jerusalem.
The Palestinians – who claim all of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem – have dismissed the plan as biased towards Israel and a denial of their rights.
Israel has occupied the West Bank and East Jerusalem since the 1967 Middle East war. It pulled its troops and settlers out of Gaza in 2005, but the UN says its occupation there has not ended.
More than 600,000 Jews live in about 140 settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Most of the international community considers the settlements illegal under international law, though Israel and the Trump administration dispute this.
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