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Israel’s impending annexation of the West Bank: How should Europe respond?

Place du Congrès, Brussels, Belgium

Israel’s impending annexation of the West Bank: How should Europe respond?



As the new Israeli government takes office, with Prime Minister Netanyahu pledging to push ahead with annexation of Israeli settlements, concerns are rising in the region and around the world about the consequences of such action, not least in Europe. But given that the otherwise supportive US is insisting that annexation should be considered in the context of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, which are nowhere on the agenda, how likely is it that Mr Netanyahu will act on this pledge? And if he does, how should the EU respond? The High Representative has already declared that any annexation would constitute a serious violation of international law. Bearing in mind the EU response to the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014 which led to sanctions on Moscow, many argue that the EU would be obliged to do likewise with Israel. But will EU member states be able reach a consensus on action such as this? And how significant would the threat of sanctions or other punitive measures be for the Israeli government and for the EU’s relations with Washington? What recourse, other than appeals to the international community, is left for the Palestinians? Is there a serious danger of civil unrest in the Occupied territories? And would the Israeli-Jordanian peace treaty be able to survive annexation?

James Moran James Moran
James Moran

Associate Senior Research Fellow

Speakers list
Husam Zomlot

Palestinian ambassador in London

Oded Eran

Institute for National Security Studies, Tel Aviv University

James Moran

Associate Senior Research Fellow - CEPS