by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) -France wants European Union countries to consider a hard response to Israel if it proceeds with the annexation of parts of Judea and Samaria, three EU diplomats told Reuters. Under the Israeli government’s coalition agreement, the process of annexing Jewish settlements in the West Bank could begin on July 1.
Reuters reports that Belgium, Ireland, and Luxembourg are also interested in the possibility of imposing punitive measures should Israel proceed with the annexation. The three diplomats said the subject may be raised at a foreign ministers’ meeting on Friday.
No details were given as to what form any punitive measures would take. However, an EU spokesman told Reuters on Monday: “Annexation is contrary to international law and if annexation goes ahead, the EU will act accordingly.”
Israeli annexation would be carried out following the Trump Peace Plan, which provides for the annexation of parts of the West Bank and a demilitarized Palestinian state. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said annexation is a matter for Israelis to decide.
As regards a tough response from Europe, all 27 EU countries would have to agree on measures to be imposed. According to Reuters, Israel’s close allies Hungary and the Czech Republic could veto even preliminary work. The EU is Israel’s top trading partner and Israel benefits from preferential trade with the bloc.
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