Saudi Arabia, UAE Reject Netanyahu’s Pledge to Annex Occupied West Bank

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RIYADH (Agencies) — Saudi Arabia on Wednesday condemned as a “dangerous escalation” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s controversial pledge to annex the Jordan Valley in the occupied West Bank if he is re-elected.

“The kingdom condemns and categorically rejects” the declaration, the official Saudi Press Agency said, citing the royal court.

“The kingdom affirms that this declaration is a very dangerous escalation against the Palestinian people and represents a flagrant violation of the UN charter and the principles of international law.”

Saudi Arabia also called for an “emergency meeting” of the foreign ministers of the 57 member states of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the SPA added.

Netanyahu issued the deeply controversial pledge as he gears up for elections on September 17. He also reiterated his intention to annex Israeli settlements in the wider West Bank if re-elected.

Saudi Arabia urged the international community to “condemn and reject the declaration and to consider any action resulting from it as void”.

Palestinians immediately reacted to Netanyahu’s statement by saying he was destroying any hopes for peace, while his electoral opponents accused him of a cynical play for right-wing nationalist votes with polls only a week away.

UAE condemns Netanyahu’s plan

Meanwhile, the United Arab Emirates has expressed its strong condemnation and categorical rejection of an announcement by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the planned annexation of land from the occupied West Bank to Israel in the event of an election win, reports UAE news agency WAM.

Shaikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, stated that this announcement represents a dangerous escalation that violates all international resolutions without the slightest regard for their legitimacy by undermining the noble intentions of those in the international community working towards a peaceful resolution to the Palestinian issue.

Shaikh Abdullah underscored that this declaration threatens to undermine decades of political efforts by the international community to achieve a fair and just resolution to the Palestinian issue, emphasizing the matter’s centrality to Arabs and Muslims.

He also affirmed the UAE’s welcoming and immediate response to calls by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to convene an emergency meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation in this regard.

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