Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 20 February 2020

‘Perpetual’ occupation of Palestine under peace plan, UK aid groups warn

The organisations called on the UK government to oppose Donald Trump’s deal

The 15 organisations said the Palestinian people had the fundamental right to self-determination. EPA
The 15 organisations said the Palestinian people had the fundamental right to self-determination. EPA

President Donald Trump’s Israel-Palestine peace plan would result in the “formal annexation” of Palestinian land and a “perpetual” occupation by Israel, 15 UK-based organisations working in the Middle East said on Tuesday.

They urged the British government, politicians and civil society groups to challenge the long-awaited proposals and ensure the Palestinian people had the “fundamental” right to self-determination.

“A sustainable peace for Palestinians and Israelis can only be built on the foundations of international law. We are deeply concerned that the basic human rights and civilian protections guaranteed to the Palestinian people are now in even greater danger,” the 15 organisations said.

Details of Mr Trump’s “Deal of the Century” remain under wraps but Palestinians fear it will heavily favour Israel. The 15 agencies, which include Christian Aid and the Council for Arab-British Understanding, said they warned last May that the peace plan was deeply concerning.

Since then, they said, there had been further cases of occupation by Israel including the demolition of Palestinian structures and the displacement of families.

“There is a major risk that the so-called ‘peace plan’, set to be released imminently, will lead to the formal annexation of Palestinian land, perpetual Israeli occupation, and the negation of Palestinians’ collective right to self-determination. Such an outcome will only deepen poverty and polarisation,” the 15 groups said.

Palestinians are already losing their land with creeping de-facto annexation of the West Bank, forcing them to become perpetually aid dependent despite abundant natural resources,” they added.

Layla Moran, the UK’s first MP of Palestinian descent, said the peace plan was a “predictably inflammatory move” by Mr Trump and Israeli political leaders.

“Palestinians have not been consulted at all. This isn’t a negotiated deal. It’s a ruse to deflect from impeachment. It should be dismissed out of hand and seen for what it is,” she said.

Updated: January 28, 2020 08:53 PM

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