King Salman denounces Israeli premier’s annexation threat

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King Salman reiterated on Thursday Saudi Arabia’s condemnation and categorical rejection of the Israeli prime minister’s stated intention to annex large parts of the occupied West Bank if he is re-elected.

In a phone call with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, King Salman said Benjamin Netanyahu’s declaration is a very dangerous escalation against the Palestinian people, and a flagrant violation of the UN charter and international norms.

The monarch added that Israel’s attempt to impose a fait accompli will not obscure the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.

Abbas expressed his appreciation for the care and great importance that King Salman attaches to the Palestinian cause.

The president also hailed the Kingdom’s consistent and firm stance toward Palestine and its people in regional and international summits and forums.

Abbas praised the Saudi call for an emergency meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation at the level of foreign ministers to discuss and confront Netanyahu’s declaration.

Palestine’s Foreign Ministry urged the UN Security Council to impose sanctions on Israel, the occupying power, to dissuade it from carrying out the annexation, and to hold it accountable for its grave breaches of international law.

“The pillars of Israel’s ruling right-wing coalition … are doing their utmost in conspiring to speed up putting forward the issue of annexing the occupied West Bank or large parts of it as a hot topic in the public debate in Israel,” the ministry said in a statement.

It warned of the damage that Israel’s expansion of Jewish-only settlements on Palestinian land is doing to prospects for peace based on a two-state solution.

“When will the (UN) Security Council and the states purporting to care for peace as per the principle of a two-state solution take practical measures to save the peace process and the two-state solution from the clutches of colonial settlement?” the ministry asked.

A spokesman for the UN secretary-general said Netanyahu’s vow would be a “serious violation of international law.” Stephane Dujarric also said the pledge would be “devastating” to the potential for peace with the Palestinians.

Russia warned that the move could sharply increase regional tensions. The Russian Foreign Ministry said it had noted the Arab world’s “strongly negative reaction” to Netanyahu’s announcement.

The Indonesian Foreign Ministry condemned Netanyahu’s plan as “contradicting international law and various UN resolutions, as well as threatening the continuation of the peace process.” The Indonesian government urged OIC countries to collectively respond to what it referred to as “dangerous announcement.”

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