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EU Policy Chief Slams Israel After Failed Bid to Condemn US Peace Plan
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, at the European Council - EURO Summit, December 12, 2019 in Brussels, Belgium. (Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

EU Policy Chief Slams Israel After Failed Bid to Condemn US Peace Plan

Employing uncommonly harsh rhetoric, the European Union’s foreign policy chief has warned Israel that its plans to annex parts of the West Bank in accordance with the Trump Administration’s peace plan would not go “unchallenged.” The comments followed reports that top diplomat Josep Borrell tried, unsuccessfully, to have all EU member states agree on a resolution condemning the US peace initiative. According to media reports, Israeli officials lobbied hard and managed to get Italy, Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary and at least two other unnamed countries to oppose the move. On the flip side, Ireland and Luxembourg are reportedly spearheading an effort to have the EU immediately recognize a Palestinian state. Amid the lack of consensus, Borrell took the unusual step of issuing his own statement reiterating a commitment by all EU member states to the establishment an “independent, democratic, contiguous, sovereign and viable Palestine” on the basis of the pre-1967 borders. He noted that the US peace plan departed from “internationally agreed parameters,” a position shared by the Arab League, which last weekend unanimously rejected the so-called deal of the century. In response, a spokeswoman for Israel’s Foreign Ministry denounced Borrell’s “threatening language” and said Brussels risked becoming a “minimized” regional actor. For his part, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has vowed to relegate the US proposal to the “dustbins of history.”

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