Michelle Bachelet
Michelle Bachelet REUTERS

A top United Nations official denounced Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s plan to apply Israeli sovereignty over parts of Judea and Samaria this summer, calling the move “illegal”, and warning it could spark a new wave of violence in the region.

Michelle Bachelet, the former Chilean president who has served as United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights since 2018, blasted Israel’s sovereignty plan as “illegal” annexation.

“Annexation is illegal. Period,” Bachelet said in a statement.

"Any annexation. Whether it is 30 percent of the West Bank, or five percent," Bachelet continued, urging Israel to "listen to its own former senior officials and generals, as well as to the multitude of voices around the world, warning it not to proceed along this dangerous path."

“I am deeply concerned that even the most minimalist form of annexation would lead to increased violence and loss of life, as walls are erected, security forces deployed and the two populations brought into closer proximity.”

"The shockwaves of annexation will last for decades, and will be extremely damaging to Israel, as
well as to the Palestinians."

"The precise consequences of annexation cannot be predicted. But they are likely to be disastrous for the Palestinians, for Israel itself, and for the wider region."

Netanyahu is expected to bring his sovereignty plan to his government sometime after July 1st.

A joint US-Israeli mapping team is working to delineate the areas to be placed under Israeli sovereignty, with the aim of getting an agreement which will secure US recognition for the move.

While earlier versions of the plan reportedly would have applied Israeli law to more than 30% of Judea and Samaria, recent reports suggest a more limited sovereignty plan is now under consideration.

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