US Secretary of State says it is up to Israel to decide on West Bank annexation

A picture shows housing units (rear of the picture) at Har Homa Israeli settlement near the West Bank city of Bethlehem. (File photo: AFP)

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday that it is up to Israel to make its own decisions on whether to annex parts of the occupied West Bank, as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to do.

Speaking to reporters, Pompeo said extending Israeli sovereignty was a decision “for Israelis to make.”

With Netanyahu’s July 1 deadline approaching, aides to US President Donald Trump began discussions on Tuesday on whether to give Netanyahu the green light for annexation, which has drawn condemnation from the Palestinians, US Arab allies and EU.

Pompeo was speaking moments after the United Nations and the Arab League, during a UN Security Council session, joined in calling for Israel to abandon its plans to annex parts of the occupied West Bank.

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Arab states, notably US ally Jordan, have voiced alarm at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s indication that he will move ahead as soon as next week to annex much of the occupied West Bank, saying that it would kill prospects for peace.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 24 June 2020 KSA 21:27 - GMT 18:27
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