London (QNN)- A group of prominent former world leaders known as The Elders on Friday called on European leaders to take a firm stand on the Israeli plans to annex occupied Palestinian territory in the West Bank.
The Elders, founded by Nelson Mandela in 2007, said in letters to the leaders of France, Germany, Britain and the European Union that they should insist to the occupation state that annexation would have negative political and economic consequences for bilateral and regional relations.
Annexation “is fundamentally contrary to the long term interests of both the Israeli and the Palestinian peoples. [It] will not dampen future Palestinian demands for rights and self-determination, but destroying hopes in a two-state compromise will increase the risks of future violence in one of the most combustible areas in the world”, the Elders warned in their appeal to Europe’s leaders.
They called on the EU leaders to consider suspending the bloc’s Association Agreement with the occupation state if annexation does go ahead in any form, and recalled the UK’s historical and abiding responsibility to the region as the colonial Mandate holder in historic Palestine before 1948.
The Elders also reiterated their support for human rights defenders and civil society activists in Israel and Palestine, whose voices need to be protected and amplified at this challenging time.
Netanyahu said he would start on July 1 actual implementation of the annexation of the Jordan Valley, the northern Dead Sea and the settlements in the occupied West Bank, for an area that totals more than 30 percent of the West Bank.