U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson decries annexation in op-ed for Israeli newspaper
JERUSALEM (JTA) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson took to the pages of an Israeli newspaper to continue his criticism of Israel’s plan to annex some West Bank territory.
His opinion piece published Wednesday on the front page of the Hebrew-language daily Yediot Acharonot said the proposal is “contrary” to Israel’s interests.
Johnson threatened that the United Kingdom will not recognize any changes to the 1967 borders except those agreed upon between Israel and the Palestinians.
“The UK has always stood by Israel and its right to live as any nation should be able to, in peace and security. Our commitment to Israel’s security will be unshakable while I am Prime Minister of the United Kingdom,” he wrote.
“So it is with sadness that I have followed the proposals to annex Palestinian territory. As a life-long friend, admirer and supporter of Israel, I am fearful that these proposals will fail in their objective of securing Israel’s borders and will be contrary to Israel’s own long-term interests.”
Johnson has previously criticized the plan in public statements in Parliament.
His piece appeared on the first day that Israel could begin to annex territory under the government coalition agreement between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his political rival Benny Gantz.
He called annexation a violation of international law and “a gift to those who want to perpetuate the old stories about Israel.”
The British leader praised “the commitment that President Trump has made to find a way forward,” and called for Israel and the Palestinians to return to the peace negotiating table.
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