UK’s Johnson Addresses Israeli Public: ‘Britain Will Not Recognize Annexation’
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned Israel on Wednesday not to go through with its plans for annexing parts of the territories conquered in the 1967 war. In an op-ed published in Israel’s daily Yedioth Ahronoth, Johnson opened by explaining that he considers himself “a close friend, admirer and ally” of Israel who is committed to its security and prosperity. “I am afraid the propositions of annexing Palestinian lands will undermine Israel’s long-term interests,” Johnson continues, warning that the unilateral move will be in violation of international law and will not be recognized by the British government. The prime minister’s letter, translated into Hebrew, was published just two weeks after the UAE’s Ambassador to the United States and Minister of State Yousef Al Otaiba penned his own op-ed in the same paper, cautioning Israeli citizens that any annexation would irretrievably reverse the trend of warming relations and economic cooperation between the Jewish state and the Gulf Arab nations. Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced in recent months his plans to annex parts of the West Bank, hoping to receive support from US President Donald Trump, whose “vision for peace” allows for the move while also calling for the creation of a Palestinian state. However, with global opposition to the unilateral move growing by the day, and with the White House seemingly losing interest as the president’s re-election bid grows increasingly problematic, Netanyahu faces an uphill battle to fulfill his main campaign promise.