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US prevents Israelis from visiting West Bank due to annexation

Warning of risk of 'violence' comes as Washington backs Israeli plans to annex large areas of Palestinian territory

The US government has issued a security alert for its citizens visiting the occupied West Bank, warning that violence could take place “with little or no warning”, as tensions rise over Washington-backed Israeli plans to annex parts of the territory.

The new announcement comes in the wake of the decision by the Palestinian Authority, to whom power is partially devolved in the West Bank, to end all security cooperation with Israel in the wake of its annexation plans.

“Violence can occur with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, government checkpoints, markets and shopping facilities or government facilities,” the US travel warning read.

“US citizens should carefully consider risks to their personal safety and security when considering visits to sites and events that are potential targets.”

Israel’s new unity government, sworn in on 17 May after a year of three elections and political limbo, intends to pursue annexation legislation from 1 July.

It is coordinating its plan alongside US President Donald Trump’s so-called “deal of the century” scheme to address the Israel-Palestine conflict, which includes giving Israel the right to annex parts of the West Bank.

The plan, rejected by the Palestinians and heavily criticised internationally, allows for the annexation of illegal Jewish settlements and other territory, including the Jordan Valley.

King Abdullah of Jordan, which has a peace treaty with Israel dating back to 1994, has warned that if Israel carried out the annexation plans it would lead to a “massive conflict” with his country.

“I don’t want to make threats and create a loggerheads atmosphere, but we are considering all options,” he told German magazine Der Spiegel earlier this month.

Apart from Egypt, Jordan is the only Arab state to have a formal peace treaty and official relations with Israel.

(Source: MEE)

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