Israelis protest Netanyahu’s annexation plan

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TEL AVIV, Israel (Reuters) – Several thousand Israelis demonstrated on Saturday against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plan to extend sovereignty over parts of the occupied West Bank, de facto annexing land the Palestinians seek for a state.

Protesters protest the coronavirus against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plan to annex parts of the Israeli-occupied West Bank in Tel Aviv, Israel, June 6, 2020. REUTERS / Amir Cohen

To protest the masks and keep their distance from each other under the restrictions of the coronaviruses, they gathered under the banner “No to annexation, no to occupation, yes to peace and democracy”. Some have waved Palestinian flags.

The demonstration was organized by leftist groups and does not appear to be the start of a popular mass movement. About half of Israelis support the annexation, according to a recent opinion poll.

The organizers screened a video address for US Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders.

“It has never been more important to stand up for justice and to fight for the future we all deserve,” said Sanders. “It is up to all of us to stand up to authoritarian leaders and build a peaceful future for every Palestinian and every Israeli. ”

Palestinians want an independent state in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, territories that Israel conquered during a war in the Middle East in 1967.

Netanyahu has set a date of July 1 to begin advancing his plan to annex the Israeli settlements and the Jordan Valley to the West Bank, in hopes of a green light from Washington.

President Donald Trump has unveiled a peace plan that calls for Israel to keep its settlements and the Palestinians establish a state under strict conditions.

The Palestinians rejected the proposal and expressed outrage at the Israeli-proposed annexation.

Warning of possible violence and diplomatic repercussions, some European and Arab states, jointly with the United Nations, have urged Israel not to annex its settlements, which many countries consider illegal.

Amir Cohen’s report; Writing by Maayan Lubell; Editing by Hugh Lawson

Our standards:Principles of the Thomson Reuters Trust.

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