WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the below statement in response to Israel’s proposed annexation of territories in the West Bank.

“As a long-time supporter of the State of Israel and the unshakable bond between our two countries, I am deeply disheartened by the proposed unilateral annexation of territory in the West Bank. What happens to the West Bank, with its Palestinian population of almost three million and growing, is fundamentally intertwined with Israel’s national security and its future in the region and the international community.

“Affirming and protecting Israel’s right to exist as a democratic Jewish state and ensuring the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination and a state of their own are both necessary components of any real and lasting peace. That peace can only be achieved through direct negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians that forge a sustainable and mutually agreed upon path forward in mutual peace and recognition. Continued bipartisan support for Israel and its security is essential as it pursues a directly negotiated two-state solution.

“As I expressed directly to the Israeli government earlier this month, a unilateral action like annexation would threaten that lasting peace from becoming a reality-- with serious security, diplomatic, economic, and legal ramifications for Israel’s national security. I am calling on both Israeli and Palestinian leadership to return to the negotiating table and to avoid any unilateral steps pending an agreement.”

# # #