Could the UK Impose Sanctions on Israel If Plans to Annex the West Bank Are Carried Out?

Published May 4th, 2020 - 07:52 GMT
Could the UK Impose Sanctions on Israel If Plans to Annex the West Bank Are Carried Out?
The UK took similar measures against Russia back in 2014 after its annexation of Crimea. (Twitter: @Betelgeuse100)

While Israel's new government is struggling to see the light after two years of snap elections and coalition talks, Israeli main competitors had made lots of tempting promises to their supporters to ensure getting their votes; and annexing parts of the West Bank was an important one.

Weeks after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his political rival Benny Gantz agreed to form a ruling coalition, eyes are set on the new government's plans to be implemented once formed, including Netanyahu's promise to annex parts of the West Bank, which he and the majority of the right-wing he represents call Judea and Samaria.

The alarming promise, to take over one more chunk of the territory allocated to the future Palestinian state according to international law, has pushed about 130 British politicians and MPs to sign a petition. This petition calls on the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to impose economic sanctions against Israel, if its government does indeed annex any new territory, as it will further hinder the peace process in the Middle East. 

According to the letter put together by the Council for Arab British Understanding (Caabu), the annexation would be "a clear violation of international law." The letter also highlights that sanctions would be an appropriate response; similar to the British action taken against Russia after its annexation of Crimea back in the spring of 2014.

Yet, analysts note that the UK could be hesitant to take such strict action against Israel, considering how strong the pro-Israeli lobby is in the country and its financial support of several British political parties.


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