Vatican worried about Israel’s annexation plan in occupied West Bank

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Israel’s possible annexation of large parts of the occupied West Bank is concerning and could further compromise peace talks, the Vatican said on Wednesday following talks with Palestinian officials.

Respect for international law and UN resolutions was an “indispensable element for the two peoples to live side by side,” the Vatican said following talks between chief foreign policy official Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher and Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat.

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Israel’s unity government supports a plan hatched by US President Donald Trump to allow annexation of large parts of the West Bank, despite Israeli settlements being considered illegal under international law.

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New government should apply Israeli law, annex West Bank settlements: Netanyahu

Arab League condemns Israel’s plan to extend sovereignty to parts of West Bank

Trump’s plan has already been rejected by the Palestinians but Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said annexation “won’t distance us from peace, it will bring us closer.”

“The Holy See is following the situation closely, and expresses concern about any future actions that could further compromise dialogue,” the Vatican said in a statement.

It added that the Roman Catholic city-state hoped a resolution could soon be found through direct talks “so that peace may finally reign in the Holy Land, so beloved by Jews and Christians and Muslims.”

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