Britain: Sovereignty would make two-state solution harder

British minister makes clear the UK would not support any Israeli move to apply sovereignty over parts of Judea and Samaria.

Elad Benari ,

James Cleverly
James Cleverly

Britain would not support an Israeli move to apply sovereignty over parts of Judea and Samaria, junior Foreign Office minister James Cleverly said on Monday, according to the Reuters news agency.

“Our long-standing position is that we do not support the annexation of parts of the West Bank, and ... doing so could make a sustainable two-state solution harder,” Cleverly told parliament.

The comments follow the coalition agreement between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Blue and White chairman Benny Gantz, which states that the government could apply sovereignty to parts of Judea and Samaria this coming July.

The United States appears to be backing the move, as US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo indicated recently that application of sovereignty was ultimately "an Israeli decision."

A State Department spokesperson later said that “we are prepared to recognize Israeli actions to extend Israeli sovereignty and the application of Israeli law to areas of the West Bank that the vision foresees as being part of the State of Israel.”

The spokesperson also added that the US would ask Israel’s new unity government to negotiate with Palestinian Arabs.

In contrast to the US comments on the issue, EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell recently warned Israel against applying sovereignty over portions of Judea and Samaria.

“The European Union reiterates that any annexation would constitute a serious violation of international law. The European Union will continue to closely monitor the situation and its broader implications, and will act accordingly,” he said.