Americans for Peace Now (APN) is alarmed at the agreement between Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his opponent-turned-coalition-partner Benny Gantz to embark on West Bank annexation procedures as early as July 1st.
This agreement is a clause in the deal signed today between Netanyahu and Gantz to form an "emergency" unity government. The deal follows long weeks of negotiations.
According to initial reports in the Israeli media, it appears that Gantz accepted Netaynahu's demand for accelerated provisions for annexing parts of the West Bank, and has relinquished the right to veto annexation measures that he and his party may oppose.
The meaning of this agreement is that the Netanyahu-Gantz government, allegedly established to join forces to fight the Coronavirus, will be the first in Israel's history to adopt the extremist policy principle of West Bank annexation.
Annexation risks the possibility of Israel ever reaching peace with the Palestinians. It will jeopardize Israel's peace agreements with Jordan and Egypt, and will turn Israel into an international pariah that perpetuates the occupation and the conflict with the Palestinians, and that thumbs its nose at international law and the international community.
Annexation will send a message to the citizens of Israel, the Palestinians and the entire world that Israel favors continuing its bloody conflict with the Palestinians and an apartheid-like reality in the West Bank over democracy and peace.
It is not too late for Netanyahu and Gantz to act responsibly and resist the pressure from Israeli extremists by shelving this clause in their coalition agreement and reject unilateral annexation of the West Bank or parts of it.