In an opinion piece for an Israeli newspaper, the prime minister calls himself “a passionate defender of Israel” – but sharply criticises Benjamin Netanyahu’ plans, which have provoked an international outcry.
“I want to see an outcome that delivers justice for both Israelis and Palestinians,” Mr Johnson has written.
“I profoundly hope that annexation does not go ahead. If it does, the UK will not recognize any changes to the 1967 lines, except those agreed between both parties. There is another way.”
Netanyahu has vowed to annex nearly a third of the occupied West Bank, having been given the green light by Donald Trump’s so-called ‘peace plan’ released in January.
It would leave a fragmented Palestinian state pockmarked by Israeli settlements, critics say, rejecting their fundamental demands, such as a capital in East Jerusalem.
Some have drawn comparisons with apartheid-era South Africa, warning Israel will be denying Palestinians their basic rights.
In the article, for Yedioth Ahronoth, Mr Johnson speaks of his “sadness” 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,” the prime minister says.
“Annexation would put in jeopardy the progress that Israel has made in improving relationships with the Arab and Muslim world.
“I have never been more convinced that Israel’s interests overlap with those of our closest partners in the Arab world, including potential security cooperation against shared threats.”
Despite the strong words, the UK is not thought to be threatening any action against Israel if it defies international pressure and goes ahead.
Source: The Independent.