Saudi calls for urgent OIC meeting to face Netanyahu’s plans to annex West Bank

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s pledge to annex large swathes of the occupied West Bank have been condemned by local and international bodies, with the Palestinian Members of Israel’s Knesset calling for him to be “indicted for war crimes” as a result.

In an election rally yesterday Netanyahu announced his intention to annex the occupied Jordan Valley after next week’s election. “Today, I announce my intention, after the establishment of a new government, to apply Israeli sovereignty to the Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea.”

In a tweet, Palestinian citizen of Israel and Member of Israel’s Knesset, Yousef Jabareen, responded: “Netanyahu, in his pledge to annex the Jordan valley, should get indicted for war crimes, apartheid and dangerous violations.”

Such a move, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said, would “bury any chance of peace”.

Saudi Arabia criticised Netanyahu for this “dangerous escalation against the Palestinian people” and called for an emergency meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Corporation (OIC).

READ: How to confront Israel’s annexation of the occupied West Bank

Stressing that such unilateral moves would destroy any future peace deal in the volatile region, the UN said such moved on Israel’s part would have no “international legal effect”.

According to the Israeli human rights group B’Tsalem, approximately 65,000 Palestinians and 11,000 illegal Israeli settlers live in the occupied Jordan Valley and northern Dead Sea area.

The Arab League “considers his announcement a dangerous development and a new Israeli aggression by declaring the intention to violate the international law,” Arab foreign ministers said after a meeting in Cairo.

READ: Gantz vows Israel will keep West Bank settlement ‘blocs’ and Jordan Valley