Turkey has slammed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s 'pledge' to annexe the Jordan valley in the occupied West Bank if he comes back to power. Ankara considers itself as the champion of the Palestinian cause and has never shied away from the criticism of Israel. Earlier, Netanyahu issued a ‘controversial’ pledge regarding the annexation of Jordan and Israeli settlements in the wider West Bank in case of his re-election in the September 17 polls.
“The election promise of Netanyahu, who is giving all kind of illegal, unlawful and aggressive messages before the election, is a racist apartheid state”, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu wrote on Twitter.
Moreover, Saudi Arabia has called an ‘emergency meeting’ of the foreign ministers of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, the Saudi Press Agency stated.
Reacting to Netanyahu’s pledge, the Kingdom issued a statement saying, “The kingdom affirms that this declaration is a very dangerous escalation against the Palestinian people and represents a flagrant violation of the UN charter and the principles of international law.” It also urged the international community to ‘reject’ Netanyahu’s declaration and condemn his ‘pledge’.
The Palestinians in response said Netanyahu’s statement was destroying any hopes for peace. Netanyahu’s political opponents accused him of indulging into cynical play for right-wing nationalist votes.
However, the United Nations has warned Netanyahu that his plans to annexe the Jordan valley will have no ‘international legal effect’.
“The secretary-general’s position has always been clear: unilateral actions are not helpful in the peace process”, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a statement.