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Rights in Crisis: Israel’s illegal annexation of parts of the West Bank

On the announcement of Israel’s illegal annexation of parts of the West Bank Oxfam’s Country Director in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Israel Shane Stevenson said:

“Today millions of Palestinians worldwide have been betrayed by the international community. This serious—and likely irreversible— plan to acquire occupied territory by force is a violation of the most basic principles of international law.

Whether annexation takes place today or tomorrow, incrementally or in swathes, it will throw Palestinian families into indefinite limbo. It will see Palestinians in areas under threat face an increase in discriminatory legal regimes, raids on their homes, separated families, limited access to basic services, more checkpoints, walls and fences, further limiting Palestinians’ already restricted freedom of movement and ultimately fall further into poverty. Shame on those world leaders who did so little to give Palestinians any hope of a life of freedom, prosperity and peace. It is nothing less than a reversal of decades and billions of dollars of development and humanitarian work.

Palestinian communities are at risk of becoming isolated enclaves. The annexation of the fertile land of  the Jordan Valley in particular, the food basket of the West Bank, would render a functioning Palestinian State impossible; depriving it of the land and natural resources necessary to sustain itself. Oxfam strongly condemns any annexation of West Bank territory and urges the international community to reject any further steps in this plan. Its
repercussions must be made crystal clear if Israel moves forward with this harmful, illegal act.”

Notes to Editors:

  • Supporting photography and quotes from impacted Palestinians are available upon request
  • Oxfam has been working in the region since the 1950s and established a country office in the 1980s. We work in the most vulnerable communities in Gaza, East Jerusalem, and Area C with more than 60 Palestinian and Israeli partner organizations to respond to humanitarian crises, to help communities to earn a living and access resources like food, water and education, and to build a strong civil society.
  • Spokespeople are available upon request.
  • Contact: Adeline Guerra in Jerusalem | adeline.guerra@oxfam.org | +972 (0)54 6395 002 | skype: aguerra.oxfam