Israel's aim to annex parts of the occupied West Bank was clearly "illegal", the UN's top human rights official said on Monday, warning that the consequences could be "disastrous".
"Annexation is illegal. Period," Michelle Bachelet said in a statement, adding that "the shockwaves of annexation will last for decades, and will be extremely damaging to Israel, as well as to the Palestinians".
"I am deeply concerned that even the most minimalist form of annexation would lead to increased violence and loss of life, as walls are erected, security forces deployed and the two populations brought into closer proximity,” Bachelet said.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's plan to extend Israeli sovereignty over Jewish settlements in the territory has drawn condemnation from the Palestinians, US Arab allies and other foreign governments. His cabinet is due to begin formal annexation deliberations on Wednesday, July 1.
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