14:13 GMT01 March 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russian Deputy Foreign Minister and Special Presidential Envoy for the Middle East and Africa Mikhail Bogdanov said on Tuesday that Israel’s plans to annex Palestinian territories in the West Bank will put an end to the prospect of a two-state solution and will most likely provoke a new round of violence in Palestine.

    "It is possible that the new Israeli coalition government may start acting on these statements very soon, extending Israeli sovereignty to the West Bank. We believe that such an action would have extremely adverse consequences. We agree with the assessments and warnings against this which are reflected in the Arab League’s recent decisions regarding this matter. In our opinion, the annexation of some Palestinian territories by Israel would preclude the implementation of the two-state solution and would most likely provoke a new round of violence in Palestine and further aggravate the already high discontent in Arab quarters", Bogdanov said in an interview with the Egyptian Al-Ahram newspaper, posted on the Russian Foreign Ministry's website.

    Earlier in the day, Palestine's Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh said it would declare statehood in the pre-1967 war territories if Israel moved to annex parts of the occupied West Bank.

    "As soon as Israel goes ahead with its plan to annex West Bank territories we will make the next step toward declaring Palestine's independence", he was quoted as saying by the Palestinian news agency Ma'an.

    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas declared all security agreements reached with Israel and the United States null and void last month after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised to extend Israeli sovereignty to Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

    Earlier this month, Israel’s Alternate Prime Minister and Defence Minister Benny Gantz ordered the country’s military to step up its plans to annex territory in the West Bank.

    Israel’s plans to begin annexing land in the West Bank follows in the wake of US President Donald Trump’s so-called deal of the century, which proposed a two-state solution in the region that would allow for the creation of a demilitarized Palestinian state. However, the Arab side has rejected the deal outright, as it would recognize Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

    Israel has for decades been in conflict with Palestine, who seek diplomatic recognition for their independent state on the territories of the West Bank which were occupied by the Jewish state during the Six-Day War in 1967. Israel has been refusing to recognize Palestine as a state and defying UN resolutions in the process.

    Palestine, Israel, West Bank
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