Israel's annexing of occupied territory is violation of international law – Lords International Relations Committee
The Government should urgently clarify its position on Israel's planned annexation of Palestinian territories and consider limiting Israel's preferential access to UK markets if the annexation goes ahead, the House of Lords International Relations and Defence Committee has said.
The Committee has written to foreign office minister, James Cleverly, expressing concern over Israel's intention to annex occupied areas.
In its letter, the committee has asked for an urgent Government response to the following points:
- Reassurances – does the UK position remain unchanged, that annexation of Palestinian territories occupied since 1967 violates international law, jeopardises the peace process and that changes cannot be taken forward without an agreement negotiated by the parties themselves?
- Action – what will be done to re-engage parties in the peace process? How will parties be brought back to negotiations in support of a two- state solution?
- Consequences – if Israel were to proceed with its planned annexation, what would be the consequences for its preferential access to the UK market? How would the UK distinguish between legal and illegal products for Israeli exports to the UK?
The committee has also reiterated the relevance of conclusions and recommendations from its report, the Middle East: time for new realism, published in May 2017. These conclusions included:
- A negotiated two-state outcome remains the only way to achieve enduring peace.
- The continuing Israeli policy of the expansion of settlements is illegal and an impediment to peace.
- The Government should be more forthright in stating its views on these issues and Europe should play a more active role, despite the views of the US administration.
- If Israel continues to reduce the possibilities of a two-state solution, the UK should be ready to support UNSC resolutions condemning those actions.