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UN Mideast envoy warns against annexation of occupied Palestinian territory

United Nations, April 24 (IANS) UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov on Thursday warned against Israel’s planned annexation of occupied Palestinian territory.

“The dangerous prospect of annexation by Israel of parts of the occupied West Bank is a growing threat,” Mladenov told the Security Council on Thursday via video-conference.

“If such a move were implemented, it would constitute a serious violation of international law, deal a devastating blow to the two-state solution, close the door to a renewal of negotiations, and threaten efforts to advance regional peace.”

On Monday, the two leading political parties in Israel signed a coalition agreement to form a government, reports Xinhua news agency.

The two sides agreed on advancing annexation of parts of the West Bank, starting July 1, said Mladenov in his virtual briefing.

The Palestinian Authority has threatened that if this move takes place, it will cancel the implementation of all bilateral agreements, he said.

Moves to annex land and to accelerate settlement expansion, combined with the devastating impact of COVID-19, can ignite the situation and destroy any hope of peace, warned Mladenov.

“The path of unilateral action will only lead to more conflict and suffering.”

However, he said, there is a different path — one of working together to modernize and expand existing agreements, of solidifying the current relative calm in Gaza, a path of implementing the recommendations of the 2016 Middle East Quartet report and actively taking steps toward a negotiated two-state solution that is based on relevant UN resolutions, bilateral agreements and international law.

–IANS

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