With the new coalition government taking office in Israel, the Israeli annexation of some West Bank’s territories might become a reality starting from July 1. This initiative, which entails the extension of Israeli sovereignty on crucial areas such as the Jordan Valley and the northern shore of the Dead Sea, has raised widespread regional and international condemnation. In a stark move, the leader of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas has suspended all agreements with Israel and the Trump administration, including those in the security sector, while King Abdullah II has warned that Jordan will consider ‘all options’ over Israel’s annexation plan. As no real domestic impediment is expected, only an eventual international response seems able to force the Israeli government to reconsider its intents. The European Union (EU) has announced that it will deploy all its diplomatic capabilities to dissuade the Israeli government from making such a decision. Yet, the uncertainty over the outcome of the next U.S. presidential elections cast shadows on Israel’s eventual choice and its regional implications.
Marina Sereni, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Italy
Ugo Tramballi, Senior Advisor, ISPI
Dennis Ross, Counselor and William Davidson Distinguished Fellow, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, USA
Marwan Muasher, Vice President for Studies, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, USA
Hugh Lovatt, Policy fellow, Middle East and North Africa programme, European Council on Foreign Relations