International Union for Muslim Scholars: Silence on West Bank annexation 'treason'

Keeping silent on the Israeli plans to annex swaths of lands from occupied West Bank amounts to a "treason," said the International Union for Muslim Scholars (IUMS) on Monday.

In a statement, the IUMS said that if Israel succeeds to grab these lands, the entire world will lose confidence in the UN and the world will simmer in chaos.

The union urged the Islamic world to stand in solidarity with Palestine and to annul all agreements with Israel. It also called on the international community to stand against Israeli's grave violation of the international laws and values.

"Normalizing with the [Israeli] occupation or conceding one inch of Palestine lands is prohibited by religion and a crime against the Arab and Muslim generations," the statement concluded.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to start annexing all settlement blocs and the Jordan Valley in the occupied West Bank this month.

The move, however, appears to have come to a halt in light of widespread international rejection of the plan along with differences with the US administration on its application.

International law views both the West Bank and East Jerusalem as "occupied territories" and considers all Jewish settlement-building activity there as illegal.

Jordan, Turkey reject Israeli move to annex West Bank

Speaker of Jordan’s House of Representatives (lower house of parliament), Atef Tarawneh, held talks in Amman with Turkish Ambassador Ismail Aramaz to discuss cooperation between the two countries in the parliamentary, economic and investment fields.

"Amman and Ankara have historic relations and bonds of friendship and cooperation which require maintaining coordination and consultation regarding the issues of mutual interest." Tarawneh said in a statement.

The Jordanian speaker reiterated his country’s rejection of any Israeli plan to annex Palestinian lands in the West Bank.

The Turkish diplomat, for his part, emphasised on his country’s support to the Jordanian opposition to the unilateral Israeli annexation and underlined Ankara’s rejection of any land grab by Israel.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to start annexing all settlement blocs and the Jordan Valley in the occupied West Bank as of July 1.

The move, however, appears to have come to a halt in light of widespread international rejection of the plan along with differences with the US administration on its application.

International law views both the West Bank and East Jerusalem as "occupied territories" and considers all Jewish settlement-building activity there as illegal.

Russian, Palestinian presidents hold phone talk

Russian and Palestinian presidents discussed the settlement of the Middle East conflicts in a phone talk on Wednesday.

Vladimir Putin reaffirmed to his Palestinian counterpart Mahmoud Abbas Russia's adherence to "a just and lasting solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict", the Kremlin said in a statement on its official website.

"The Russian side confirmed its principled position in support of a just and lasting solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in accordance with the existing international legal framework. In this context, the importance of strengthening inter-Palestinian unity was emphasised," the statement said.

They also discussed issues of Russian-Palestinian cooperation and agreed to continue cooperation in fighting the spread of the novel coronavirus.

On Jan. 28, US President Donald Trump unveiled the so-called “Deal of the Century” to end one of the longest-running disputes in the Middle East.

Under the plan, Trump proposed a patchwork Palestinian state boxed in by illegal Israeli settlements, as well as recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the West Bank, and Jerusalem as Israel's “undivided capital”.

The so-called peace plan has drawn widespread criticism as it unilaterally annuls previous UN resolutions on the Palestinian issue and suggests giving Israel almost everything it has demanded.

4 nations reject Israel’s West Bank annexation plans

In a joint video conference, Foreign Ministers of Germany, France, Jordan, and Egypt on Tuesday voiced strong opposition to Israeli’s plans to annex parts of Palestinian territory in the West Bank.

"We exchanged views on the current state of the Middle East Peace Process and its regional implications. We concur that any annexation of Palestinian territories occupied in 1967 would be a violation of international law and imperil the foundations of the peace process,” said a press release issued by the German Foreign Ministry, quoting the four foreign ministers.

They further warned that the Israeli plan to annex parts of the West Bank was loaded with consequences and will affect the relationship between Israel and these four countries.

"We would not recognise any changes to the 1967 borders that are not agreed by both parties in the conflict. We also concur that such a step would have serious consequences for the security and stability of the region, and would constitute a major obstacle to efforts aimed at achieving comprehensive and just peace," the statement added.

The foreign ministers also affirmed their firm commitment to a negotiated two-state-solution based on international law and the relevant UN resolutions.

The ministers also discussed how to re-start a fruitful engagement between the Israeli and the Palestinian side, while offering their "support for facilitating negotiations”.

As part of US President Donald Trump’s “Deal of the Century,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had announced last month that his government would formally annex the Jordan Valley and all settlement blocs in the West Bank.

The West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is viewed 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 will further undermine the two-state solution.

The majority of the international community including the European Union members do not recognize Israel’s sovereignty over territories that it has occupied since 1967.