Israel's annexation plans: where will they lead?

The Israeli government is currently considering controversial plans to annex areas in the occupied West Bank. US President Donald Trump gave the green light for the move at the beginning of the year with his peace plan. Soon after, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced the annexation would begin in the summer. His government's coalition agreement sets July 1 as the date.

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NRC Handelsblad (NL) /

This path leads nowhere

NRC Handelsblad believes Israel is doing itself a disservice:

“There can never be peace, or even the beginnings of it, if one party unilaterally decides the facts. The annexation of Palestinian land under the banner of a peace plan is cynical and counterproductive. ... A peace process can only get underway when Israel recognises that settlements must be dismantled, as international law requires. ... With such steps Israel puts itself in a dilemma. The country is going through an economic crisis and needs peace and stability, not growing tensions. In the short term the Palestinians will pay the price, but in the long term Israel itself will feel the consequences.”

Le Figaro (FR) /

Palestinians should not cling to chimeras

Writing in Le Figaro Emmanuel Navon, professor of international relations in Tel Aviv and member of the Likud party, says the annexation makes sense:

“Because it would remove an obstacle on the path to a two-state solution. The fact that this sentence is likely to amaze you proves that myths are long-lived. Because the idea that a two-state solution could be based on Israel withdrawing to the borders established in the 1949 armistice, dividing Jerusalem and returning the descendants of the Palestinian refugees to Israel is a myth. No Israeli government will accept a hostile and armed state on Tel Aviv's doorstep and within Jerusalem. ... As long as the Palestinians and the governments that support them persist in clinging to these chimeras, there will be no two-state solution.”

Milliyet (TR) /

Netanyahu is afraid he will lose Trump

Milliyet explains why the Israeli prime minister is in such a hurry:

“The reason is the fear (or knowledge) that Trump will lose the election in four months. Netanyahu is well aware that without a protector like Trump it will be impossible to ensure that Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt agree to an annexation. Trump has persuaded these three countries (which will manage to secure the backing of almost the entire Arab League) not only to remain silent about the annexation, but also to support his supposed peace plan. Netanyahu knows that if [his defence minister] Gantz says yes to a partial annexation, this will already be a victory. ... And should Trump be re-elected, Netanyahu will secure the rest of the territory within a four-year period.”