Middle East Monitor / May 23, 2020
In a letter sent to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Defence Minister Benny Gantz, 19 US senators warned that annexing parts of the occupied West Bank would undermine reaching a peaceful solution to the conflict.
The Senate Democrats, who were led by the Senator of Maryland Chris Van Hollen, expressed their concern and warning in a letter sent to Netanyahu and Gantz.
In their letter, they: “Warned that such a move would mark a dramatic reversal of decades of shared understandings between the US, Israel, the Palestinians, and the international community, and would impact Israel’s future, placing its security and democracy at risk.”
The senators added: “A deep commitment to Israel’s security and a shared set of democratic values are foundational elements of the close relationship between our countries. We are therefore concerned that unilateral annexation puts both Israel’s security and democracy at risk.”
They continued: “Annexation would betray our shared democratic values by denying Palestinians’ right to self-determination in a viable, sovereign, independent and contiguous state.”
“It could bring an end to Palestinian security cooperation with Israel, directly threatening the security of the Israeli people, and endanger Israel’s crucial peace agreement with Jordan.”
Concluding their letter, they expressed: “As friends and supporters of Israel, we caution you against taking unilateral steps that would fray our unique bonds, imperil Israel’s future and place out of reach the prospect of a lasting peace,” stressing that “If you move forward with unilateral annexation, we would not support that action.”