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UK's Johnson: Israeli annexation breaches international law

LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Tuesday that Israeli plans to annex parts of the West Bank would “amount to a breach of international law.” Asked in the House of Commons about possible sanctions on Israel over the West Bank settlements, Johnson said: “I believe that what is proposed by Israel would amount to a breach of international law. We have strongly objected. We believe profoundly in a two-state solution and we will continue to make that case.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to annex Jewish settlements and the Jordan Valley, a move that could scuttle any hopes of a viable Palestinian state. Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 Mideast war and has built dozens of settlements that are home to over 400,000 Israelis in the decades since. The Palestinians seek the territory as the heartland of a future independent state. Most of the international community considers Israel’s West Bank settlements illegal under international law.

President Donald Trump’s Middle East plan that was rolled out earlier this year, which overwhelmingly favors Israel and was rejected by the Palestinians, has given Israel a go-ahead for annexing Jewish settlements.

Most of the international community opposes such a move. Also on Tuesday, Jordan’s king told U.S. lawmakers that the Israeli annexation plans are “unacceptable” and would undermine regional stability.

King Abdullah II spoke with U.S. senators and emphasized the kingdom’s commitment to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state. “Any unilateral Israeli measure to annex lands in the West Bank is unacceptable and undermines the prospects of achieving peace and stability in the region,” the royal court said in a statement.

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