ANKARA

Israel’s annexation plan will “destroy all hopes” for lasting peace in the Middle East, Turkey’s top diplomat said on Wednesday.

“If the occupying power [Israel] crosses the red line, we [Muslim countries] must show that this will have consequences,” Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said speaking at the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Executive Committee Extraordinary Ministerial Meeting on Israeli threats to annex parts of Palestine.

The virtual open-ended meeting held at the ministerial level aims to discuss the threat posed by Israel’s plan to annex parts of the Palestinian West Bank, which has been under its occupation since 1967.

Cavusoglu thanked the OIC General Secretariat for organizing the meeting initiated by Turkey at the request of Palestine. He also expressed his gratitude to Jordan for its cooperation in the matter.

He underlined that the meeting had gathered top officials to send a clear warning to Israel to end its illegal annexation plans and to show that Islamic countries were in full solidarity with Palestine.

“The annexation of the Jordan valley by Israel and illegal settlements would be a violation of international law,” he said, adding that this would end the two-state vision and replace it with a single-state solution that would turn Israel into a “racist” state.

Cavusoglu stressed that the suffering of the Palestinian people would increase in the hands of the occupying power.

“To prevent this result, we must demonstrate unity and shared position.”

Israeli annexation plan

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had announced that his government intended to annex the Jordan Valley and all settlement blocs in the West Bank early next month.

The West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is seen as occupied territory under international law, thus making all Jewish settlements there — as well as the planned annexation — illegal.

Palestinian officials have threatened to abolish bilateral agreements with Israel if it goes ahead with the annexation, which would further undermine the two-state solution.

The annexation comes as part of US President Donald Trump’s “Deal of the Century,” which was announced on Jan. 28. It refers to Jerusalem as “Israel’s undivided capital” and recognizes Israeli sovereignty over large parts of the West Bank

The plan states the establishment of a Palestinian state in the form of an archipelago connected through bridges and tunnels.

Palestinian officials say that under the US plan, Israel will annex 30-40% of the West Bank, including all of East Jerusalem.

* Writing by Jeyhun Aliyev and Fahri Aksut

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