Rabat – Morocco has “firmly” condemned Israeli Prime Minister’s recent comments about annexing the Jordan Valley and other territories in the West Bank, joining a growing chorus of critical voices that have warned against setting a dangerous precedent in the Israel-Palestine conflict.
In a statement published yesterday by MAP, Morocco’s official news outlet, the Moroccan government said it was deeply concerned by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s insistence on extending Isreali sovereignty to the Jordan Valley.
Echoing the unanimous decision of the Arab League, Morocco said the comments from the Isreali Prime Minister constituted “a dangerous escalation” in a conflict that has lasted for far too long.
For Morocco, annexation by Israel of the territories would further tensions, “torpedo” international law, and dampen any hopes of resolution for the lingering conflict.
Like many in the international community, Morocco supports a two-state solution where the territories in question would be under Palestinian sovereignty.
In response to Netanyahu’s annexation rhetoric, Morocco reaffirmed its commitment to safeguarding the dignity” and “inalienable rights” of the Palestinian people, arguing that the Israelis premier’s declaration was in large measure an ultimate act of hostility towards Palestinian’s rights.
Morocco’s “firm” response comes after an equally muscular speech by Prime Minister Netanyahu, full of Israeli nationalism.
In an electoral speech last Tuesday, Netanyahu exhorted Israelis to give him “a clear mandate” to annex most of the West Bank.
“If I receive from you, citizens of Israel, a clear mandate to do so… today I announce my intention to apply, with the formation of the next government, Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and northern Dead Sea,” he said.
He promised, however, that the move would be completed in “maximum coordination” with Washington.
Netanyahu’s domestic critics have interpreted the “dramatic announcement” as an “election trick.” They have maintained the comments are an empty promise aiming at securing the support—and votes—he needs for winning next week’s elections.
Outside of Isreali electoral calculations, however, the declaration has been deemed serious; it has consequently been met with equally serious condemnations.
“He is not only destroying the two-state solution, he is destroying all chances of peace,” Hanan Ashrawi, a senior official with the Palestinian Liberation Organization, told AFP.
She described the move as “unquestionably reprehensible” and added: “This announcement is a declaration of war against the Palestinian people’s rights as well as the very foundations of the international rule-based order.”