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Saudi Arabia Condemns Israel’s New Annexation Pledge as Jeddah Summit Kicks off

Saudi Arabia Condemns Israel’s New Annexation Pledge as Jeddah Summit Kicks off

Sunday, 15 September, 2019 - 05:45
An Israeli soldier stands guard during a tour made by Israeli parliament members in the Jordan Valley near the Jewish settlement of Maale Efrayim January 2, 2014. (Reuters)

Saudi Arabia reiterated on Sunday its condemnation of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s pledge to annex the Jordan Valley.


Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Assaf stressed that the Palestinian cause will remain the central cause for Arabs.


He made his remarks during the opening of an emergency meeting of foreign ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) held in Jeddah aimed at addressing Netanyahu’s vow.


“We call on the international community to reject the recognition of any situation beyond the 1967 border,” continued Assaf, urging it to assume its responsibilities before the Israeli violations against the Palestinian people.


Netanyahu said on Tuesday he would annex the Jordan Valley, a large swathe of the occupied West Bank that Israel captured in 1967 and which Palestinians want as part of a future state.


Middle Eastern nations and European powers have expressed alarm at the plan, which Netanyahu said he would implement if he wins a closely contested election, set for September 17.


Speaking from Jeddah Sunday, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said: “Israel is continuing its efforts to distort geography and history in Palestine.”


“The Israeli crimes against the Palestinian people are being committed with American blessing,” he added.


“The Palestinian leadership thanks Saudi Arabia for its immediate condemnation of the Israeli annexation pledge,” he stated.


“We demand that the international community put an end to Israel’s hostile policies against the Palestinian people,” he stressed.


Maliki said Netanyahu’s pledge to annex the Jordan Valley threatens international agreements and resolutions.


The office of United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had said the plan “would constitute a serious violation of international law.”


Palestinian sources told Asharq Al-Awsat the Jeddah meeting will condemn the move and possibly file a complaint against Israel at the United Nations Security Council.


Around 65,000 Palestinians and 11,000 Israeli settlers live in the Jordan Valley and northern Dead Sea area, according to the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem. The main Palestinian city is Jericho, with around 28 villages and smaller Bedouin communities.


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