More than 1,000 European parliamentarians sign letter against annexation

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More than 1,000 European parliamentarians sign letter against annexation

Lawmakers from 25 countries, including former Tory leader Lord Howard and ex-independent reviewer of terror legislation, Lord Carlile, flag 'serious concerns' over Israel's plans

Lord Carlile, Dame Margaret Hodge, Lord Howard and Baroness Neville-Jones were key British signatories to the letter
Lord Carlile, Dame Margaret Hodge, Lord Howard and Baroness Neville-Jones were key British signatories to the letter

More than 1,000 parliamentarians from across Europe have signed an open letter flagging “serious concerns” about Israel’s planned annexation of territory in the West Bank from next month.

The unprecedented letter, whose signatories comprise some of the most senior names in British politics, was published on Wednesday and calls for “commensurate consequences” if Israel goes ahead.

Signed by 1,080 lawmakers from 25 countries, the letter warns of the “destabilising potential” of annexation for the region, saying it would be “fatal to the prospects of peace and will challenge the most basic norms of international relations”.

Among the 240 British signatories are several Jewish peers, including the Conservative Party’s former leader Lord Howard and the government’s former independent reviewer of terrorist legislation Lord Carlile.

It also includes the former EU commissioner Lord Patten and Baroness Neville-Jones, a former counter-terrorism minister who previously chaired the UK’s Joint Intelligence Committee.

It is also signed by Labour’s current front bench, as well as Dame Margaret Hodge, who shot to prominence for her campaign against antisemitism in the party, as well as the former Labour leader Lord Kinnock.

Signatories include senior parliamentarians from Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Norway, Iceland and Switzerland.

The letter was organised by former Speaker of the Israeli parliament Avraham Burg, former Israeli Attorney General and acting Supreme Court Judge Professor Michael Ben-Yair, former Deputy Speaker Professor Naomi Chazan, and former Member of Knesset and chair of the Meretz Party Zehava Galon.

The publication of the letter in several newspapers across the continent comes just before the annexation process is scheduled to begin in July.

Addressed to European foreign ministries, it warns that claiming Israeli sovereignty over occupied territory could be “fatal to the prospects of Israeli-Palestinian peace and will challenge the most basic norms guiding international relations”.

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