UK warned it would recognize Palestine if ‘Israel’ annexed West Bank, book reveals

British Ambassador to the United Nations Karen Elizabeth Pierce listens to speakers during a meeting on the Middle East, including the Palestinian question, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019 at United Nations headquarters

London (QNN)- The United Kingdom’s ambassador to the United States warned the Trump administration two years ago that if ‘Israel’ went forward with plans to annex large parts of the West Bank, London would officially recognize the State of Palestine, a new book has revealed.

According to The Times of Israel, the message was passed along by Karen Pierce in a meeting she held with then-US president Donald Trump’s Mideast peace envoy Avi Berkowitz and Iran special envoy Brian Hook on June 12, 2020, Israeli journalist Barak Ravid wrote in his book “Trump’s Peace.”

Berkowitz and Hook were dispatched to meet with Pierce by then-senior White House adviser Jared Kushner.

While the Trump administration was being inundated by calls from world leaders warning the US against allowing then-prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to go forward with plans to begin annexing parts of the West Bank on July 1, 2020, it was the response from the UK that went further and was most surprising to the Americans, the book said.

The Israeli journalist speculated that the UK recognizing Palestine would likely have led other countries in Europe such as France and Spain to do the same.

A day before his meeting with Pierce, Berkowitz met with a group of senior German diplomats who expressed their utter opposition to the annexation plan.

“I told them, go to the Palestinians and tell them that annexation is advancing. Ask them what they want us to try and get for them in exchange,” Berkowitz recalled in Ravid’s book.

According to Ravid, Trump’s ambassador to ‘Israel’, David Friedman, had encouraged the Netanyahu government to annex parts of the West Bank, without running the plan by the president or Kushner — both of whom were opposed to the idea.

In 2020, Netanyahu decided to extend sovereignty to Israeli settlements through annexation to the parts of West Bank that Israel seized from Jordan in 1967.

Officials feared that the annexation decision will lead to the non-establishment of the state of Palestine and affect to Jordan because it has many Palestinian refugees who were forcibly displaced from their home in 1948.

(Source / 03.01.2022)

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