Latin American Leaders Reject any Israeli Annexation in West Bank

More than 320 public figures from Latin America, including former national presidents, signed a statement on Friday, July 3, calling for the imposition of sanctions on Israel in response to its plan to annex portions of the occupied Palestinian territory and for its apartheid practices.

Among the most prominent signatories to the statement were former presidents Dilma Rousseff and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (Brazil), Evo Morales (Bolivia), Ernesto Samper (Colombia), Rafael Correa and José Mujica (Ecuador), and Fernando Lugo (Paraguay). Other well-known signers of the statement included Brazilian singers Chico Buarque and Caetano Veloso, and Argentinean Nobel Peace Prizewinner Adolfo Pérez Esquivel.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and his Cuban counterpart Miguel Díaz-Canel during their meeting in Havanna, May 2018

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and his Cuban counterpart Miguel Díaz-Canel during their meeting in Havanna, May 2018 (Photo: Prensa Latina)

In parallel, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez defended the establishment of the State of Palestine alongside Israel with its pre-1967 borders as the only possible solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “Cuba reiterates its rejection of the Israeli plans to annex the Palestinian territories in the West Bank that would increase the risks of conflict in the region,” Rodríguez wrote on his Twitter account. The request by the Cuban Foreign Ministry coincides with a letter from more than a thousand Palestinian personalities calling for world support against Israel’s annexation plans.

On Wednesday, July 1, the Chilean Senate passed in a vote of 29 in favor, no votes against and 6 abstentions a resolution calling upon the Chilean government to review, among other things, all its agreements with Israel.

The Chilean resolution passed by its senate also called on the government to promote legislation that would: ban all Israeli settlement product; prohibit any company involved in the Israeli occupation from benefiting from any agreement or bid signed by Chile; apply tourism guidelines for Israel and Palestine that would not allow the promotion of trips to Israel using pictures of East Jerusalem or Bethlehem (“among other Palestinian cities”); forbid any kind of cooperation, including monetary, with the Israeli colonization of occupied Palestine; and ensure that no tax benefits will be afforded to any organization operating in Chile if it is involved in the occupation of Palestine.

The text of the resolution notes that Chile has recognized the State of Palestine within the 1967 borders and that the Israeli plans of annexation will also adversely affect thousands of Chilean citizens who own lands in the area of western Bethlehem, in particular in the Cremisan and Al Makhrour sections of the city of Beit Jala, from where the majority of the Chilean-Palestinian community comes. The text of the resolution passed by the senate also quotes the UN Human Rights Commissioner and former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, who said, “Annexation is illegal, period”.