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European Union Rejects U.S. Middle East Peace Plan

The EU's foreign policy chief criticized the peace plan as endorsing Israeli territorial expansion at the expense of a viable Palestinian state.
Posted at 5:29 PM, Feb 04, 2020

The European Union has rejected the Trump administration's new plan for Middle East peace.  

In a statement Tuesday, the EU's foreign policy chief called the plan unworkable because it could lead to continued Israeli annexation of Palestinian territory.

Last September, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced a plan to cement Israel's military gains by annexing vast territory spanning from the Jordan Valley to the northern Dead Sea. That infuriated Palestinians because the move would encircle a potential Palestinian state inside a Greater Israel. 

Josep Borrell, the EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, criticized the peace plan as effectively endorsing Israeli territorial expansion at the expense of a viable Palestinian state. He said Tuesday: “We are especially concerned by statements on the prospect of annexation of the Jordan Valley and other parts of the West Bank."

The Trump administration plan, advanced by senior adviser Jared Kushner, is drawing major criticism. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas ripped it as "nonsense," and the Arab League also rejected the plan, which was drafted without Palestinian input. 

Netanyahu has endorsed the plan. Yet this week, the Yesha Council, representing more than 150 Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, said the White House isn't acting forcefully enough to protect Israel's sovereignty over the disputed territory.

That's because the Trump administration has urged Netanyahu to delay a cabinet vote to annex the territory until after Israel's presidential elections in March.