Riyad Al-Maliki
Riyad Al-MalikiReuters

Riyad al-Maliki, the Palestinian Authority (PA) “foreign minister”, on Thursday praised EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell who had warned Israel against applying sovereignty over portions of Judea and Samaria.

Maliki noted positively the European position against recognition of Israeli sovereignty in the "occupied West Bank" and its adherence to international law and the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, including Resolution 242 and Resolution 338.

He also expressed satisfaction with the EU's statement that Israeli annexation of territories in Judea and Samaria is a dangerous violation of international law, and with the statement that the EU intends to monitor the situation closely.

Maliki called for pressure to be exerted on the Israeli government to dissuade it from the annexation process, taking over any territory, settlement, house demolition or any other unilateral step aimed at harming the possibility of returning to negotiations on the basis of international law.

He also said that the EU and other countries should impose daunting sanctions against Israel if it implements the annexation plan.

In a statement released earlier on Thursday, Borrell noted the deal between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Blue and White chairman Benny Gantz for the formation of a unity government, expressing a willingness to cooperate with the new Israeli government in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, while cautioning the Jewish state against altering the status quo in Judea and Samaria.

Borrell warned that the EU would strongly oppose Israel’s application of sovereignty in parts of Judea and Samaria – despite the move being supported by the US as part of the Trump administration’s peace plan – warning that such a step would be a major violation of international law.

“The European Union’s position on the status of the territories occupied by Israel in 1967 remains unchanged. In line with international law and relevant UN Security Council resolutions, including resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), the European Union does not recognize Israeli sovereignty over the occupied West Bank.”

“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.”

According to the deal signed between Netanyahu and Gantz, the new government will begin applying sovereignty in parts of Judea and Samaria allotted to it under the Trump administration’s Middle East peace plan after July 1.