Annexation or negotiation: Israel is facing a painful choice
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Annexation or negotiation: Israel is facing a painful choice

9 July, 12:19In the world
In the nearest future the government of this country will take steps that could jeopardize a peaceful solution to the Palestinian problem.

The Vatican reportedly resorted to an extremely extraordinary step: the ambassadors of the United States and Israel were called on the carpet in connection with the plans of the Jewish government to announce the annexation of the disputed territories of the West Bank.

Valery Rubin, Israel

However, as we know, Israel calls it differently: extending the sovereignty of the state to 30.3 percent of the "biblical" Judea and Samaria, where about half a million settlers, citizens of Israel, currently live on the so-called. occupied during the Six Day War of 1967 territories.

The date of July 1, when Prime Minister Netanyahu solemnly promised to make an announcement in the Knesset about the beginning of the process of land secession, the transfer of settlements under the jurisdiction of the State of Israel, has passed, and, as they say, is still there. The main reason for the delay, of course, lies in the position of the White House, whose administration has not yet decided: how to implement its "peace plan" so that both the wolves are fed and the lambs are whole.

The go-ahead to Israel is not given. Maps of demarcation of “zones of influence” with the Palestinians are not ready (this is indeed a very difficult task, since there is a patchwork quilt on the table before the planners). Few members of the international community welcome the initiative of the Israeli prime minister, the UN as a whole, and the League of Arab States - against. Moreover, at that moment when the whole world is busy fighting not for life, but for death with the coronavirus pandemic. The last person to directly indicate to Netanyahu about the inadmissibility of annexation in a telephone conversation was British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. In his view, the annexation would be a serious violation of international law and would “conflict with Israel’s long-term interests.” The situation is stalemate.

So, according to the press service of the Holy See, Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin met with US Ambassador Callista Gingrich and Israeli Ambassador Oren David, separately. The meetings were said to be organized “in order to express the Holy See’s concern regarding possible unilateral actions that could jeopardize the search for peace between Israelis and Palestinians.” At the same time, the statement emphasizes that the State of Israel and the State of Palestine have the right to exist and live in peace and security within internationally recognized borders. As you know, the Palestinian Authority was recognized as the "state" by the Vatican in February 2013.

Perhaps the meetings of the Vatican Secretary of State with the ambassadors of Israel and the United States may seem a formality. However, one cannot fail to admit that they happened extremely timely. There is still a chance to launch a mechanism of direct negotiations (the Palestinians are ready for this now, after many years of procrastination). In addition, in order to defuse the situation, Secretary of Defense Beni Ganz told American diplomats that July 1 is not a "holy date" and that the annexation can wait until Israel can cope with a new pandemic outbreak. As a matter of fact, half of the Israelis, according to polls, do not at all consider annexation a priority of a coalition government. In addition, the prime minister’s popularity fell to a record low due to his inability to cope with the coronavirus, although his leadership of the right-wing religious camp has not yet been called into question.

In this regard, the position of the Israeli military is interesting, on which the main burden of implementing the action to "spread sovereignty" lies. They will certainly implement the political will of the government and the Knesset. At the same time, one cannot ignore the mood among the generals. In particular, retired Major General Yair Golan, a former deputy chief of the General Staff and commander of the Northern Military District, who is popular in the IDF, said that the annexation would jeopardize the Zionist dream and turn Israel into an apartheid state. He believes that the Israelis do not need a deal with the US administration, but with the Palestinians.

One in the field is not a warrior, it is known. However, it seems that he is not the one who shares such sentiments, but many military officers and members of the Israeli secret services who know firsthand the consequences of the mistakes of the political leadership. Ahead is the moment of truth.

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