Daily US Times: Several thousand Israelis demonstrated in the Capital Tel Aviv against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plan to annex the Jordan Valley and illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank.
The annexation plan of occupied Palestinian land has prompted the Palestinian Authority to threaten it will withdraw from all agreements with Israel.
Demonstrators gathered to protest the annex plan, showed banner “No to annexation, no to occupation, yes to peace and democracy”. They wore face masks and kept their distance from each other under coronavirus restrictions and some waved Palestinian flags.
The protest was organized by NGO’s and left-wing groups and did not appear to have the support of the wider population.
According to a recent opinion poll, around half of Israelis support annexation.
The organizers screened a video message by US Senator Bernie Sanders. He said: “It has never been more important to stand up for justice, and to fight for the future we all deserve.”
“It’s up to all of us to stand up to authoritarian leaders and to build a peaceful future for every Palestinian and every Israeli.”
The Palestinian Authority wants an independent state in the Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem and the West Bank, territories Israel captured in a 1967 war.
In 2005, Israeli forces withdrew from Gaza, but two years later it imposed a crippling air, land and sea blockade of the enclave that the head of the UN humanitarian chief has called an “open-air prison”.
In January this year, US President Donald Trump unveiled a Middle East plan that recognised Israeli sovereignty over settlements – considered illegal under international laws – in the occupied West Bank.
Trump said Israel would be granted security control of the occupied West Bank and Jordan Valley, where dozens of illegal settlements have been built over decades, in return, Palestinians would have their own demilitarised state with a capital in East Jerusalem.
As part of a recent agreement to form a coalition government with Benny Gantz, Netanyahu can submit the Trump plan to his cabinet and Parliament as early as July 1 for possible endorsement.
The Israeli Prime Minister wants to annex parts of Jordan Valley and illegal settlements in the West Bank.
The plan also envisions the creation of a Palestinian state, but on reduced territory and without meeting a key Palestinian demand of having its capital in East Jerusalem.
Protesters demanded more solidarity between Palestinians and Israelis, while one protester said: “In an apartheid reality there cannot be peace for us or them, nor can there be justice.”