Settlers and Palestinians Unite in Opposition to Israeli Annexation
Gush Etzion Junction (Territoires palestiniens) (AFP) – Some Israeli settlers agree with their Palestinian neighbours in the occupied West Bank that the Jewish state’s plan to annex part of the territory would undermine their years-long reconciliation efforts.
Palestinian Khaled Abu Awwad and Israeli rabbi Shaul Judelman live just a few miles away from each other in the southern West Bank, the former in Bethlehem and the latter in Tekoa, a settlement considered illegal by the international community.
The two are the joint directors of Shorashim-Judur, or Roots in Hebrew and Arabic, a movement founded in 2014 to establish dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians sharing the West Bank, which has been occupied by Israel since 1967.
US President Donald Trump’s controversial peace plan paves the way for Israel to annex parts of the West Bank, including Jewish settlements considered illegal under international law.
In a statement this week Roots said unilateral annexation would constitute an “aggression” that would “stand in opposition to the principle of mutual respect” which is “the foundation for advancing peace and security”.
Roots has its headquarters in Gush Etzion, a bloc of two dozen settlements and outposts near Bethlehem that some have speculated will be among the first Israel would annex.
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