Rally in favor of sovereignty
Rally in favor of sovereigntyHezki Baruch

A group of 10 European ambassadors, led by the UK, gave a formal protest to Israel on Thursday and stressed that annexation of parts of Judea and Samaria would destabilize the region and harm Israel’s standing in the international community, European diplomats told Barak Ravid of Channel 13 News.

The ambassadors of the UK, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Deputy Ambassador of the EU gave the diplomatic protest in a Zoom conference call with the deputy director general of the Israeli foreign ministry, Anna Azari, according to the report.

The ambassadors reportedly said during the Zoom meeting that the formation of a national unity government in Israel is an important step, but they are deeply concerned by the part of the coalition agreement which paves the way for sovereignty over parts of Judea and Samaria.

The ambassadors told the Israeli foreign ministry official that “annexation of any part of the West Bank by Israel would constitute a clear violation of international law and would have serious repercussions for regional stability as well as Israel’s international standing.”

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

EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell last week warned Israel against applying sovereignty over portions of Judea and Samaria.

“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,” he said

“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.”

The US, however, has struck a different tone. A State Department spokesperson said on Monday 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.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last week said that application of sovereignty was ultimately "an Israeli decision."