Arab League to convene urgent meet over Israel's plans to annex West Bank

WION Web Team
Dubai Published: Apr 27, 2020, 05:07 PM(IST)

A general view shows a meeting of the Arab League's foreign ministers after US President Donald Trump announced his Middle East peace plan, in Cairo, Egypt, February 1, 2020. Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

The extraordinary meeting -- scheduled for Thursday at the request of the Palestinian leadership -- will bring together Arab foreign ministers via video conference, rather than a face-to-face meeting, due to the global coronavirus pandemic.

The Arab League said Monday it will convene an urgent virtual meeting this week to discuss how to galvanise opposition to Israeli plans to annex parts of the occupied West Bank, reported news agency AFP.

The extraordinary meeting -- scheduled for Thursday at the request of the Palestinian leadership -- will bring together Arab foreign ministers via video conference, rather than a face-to-face meeting, due to the global coronavirus pandemic, the report added. 

The Arab League's deputy secretary Hossam Zaki said the ministers will "discuss in their virtual meeting providing political, legal and financial support to the Palestinian leadership to confront the Israeli plans". 

The meeting comes after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his political rival Benny Gantz signed a deal for a unity government that could accelerate the premier's plans to annex parts of the West Bank in the coming months. 

Those Israeli plans -- while subject to caveats, including the need to maintain "regional stability" and uphold the peace agreement with Jordan -- have drawn wide criticism including from the United Nations and the European Union.

Arab League chief Ahmed Ahmed Aboul Gheit had last week sent a message to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warning against Israel's plans saying they risk "igniting tension in the region". 

He also accused Israel of "exploiting the world's preoccupation with the novel coronavirus to impose a new reality on the ground". 

Israel occupied the West Bank in the 1967 Six-Day War and has since extended its control by expanding its settlements there. 

(With inputs from AFP)

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