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Israeli occupation regime officers secure the area of Lion's gate in occupied Jerusalem's Old City, Saturday, May 30. Image Credit: AP

Occupied Jerusalem: The UAE on Monday called on Israel to halt a plan to annex parts of the occupied West Bank - joining a long list of Arab nations that have condemned the expected Israeli move.

The UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr Anwar Gargash, said on Twitter that annexing lands sought by the Palestinians would harm the chances for regional peace. “Any unilateral Israeli move will be a serious setback for the peace process,” he wrote on Twitter.

He added that annexation would “constitute a rejection of the international & Arab consensus towards stability & peace”.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced that he will annex parts of the West Bank, including the strategic Jordan Valley and dozens of Jewish colonies, in line with President Donald Trump’s Mideast plan. He has signalled he will begin moving forward with annexation next month.

The Trump plan envisions leaving about one third of the West Bank, which Israel captured in 1967, under permanent Israeli control, while granting the Palestinians expanded autonomy in the remainder of the territory. The Palestinians, who seek all of the West Bank as part of an independent state, have rejected the plan, saying it unfairly favours Israel.

Saudi Arabia, another influential Gulf country, recently announced its “rejection” of Israel’s annexation plans. Jordan and Egypt, the only Arab countries with formal peace agreements with Israel, have also condemned the plan, while the Palestinians say they are no longer obligated to honour past agreements with Israel and have suspended security cooperation to protest annexation.