UN chief Antonio Guterres has called on Israel to abandon plans to annex parts of the occupied West Bank, saying such a move would be a “most serious violation of international law”.
The UN secretary-general made the comments in a report to the Security Council on Tuesday, a day before the 15-member body holds its twice-yearly meeting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said it could begin the annexation process from July 1.
In the document, Guterres said an Israeli annexation would be “devastating” for hopes of fresh negotiations and an eventual two-state solution.
“This would be calamitous for Palestinians, Israelis and the region,” he said, adding that the plan threatened “efforts to advance regional peace”.
Guterres’s comments came a day after thousands of Palestinians protested in Jericho against the Israeli plans, in a rally also attended by dozens of foreign diplomats.