A Fancy Way of Saying 'Theft'
De facto annexation. That's how Ireland's foreign minister describes Israel's utterly illegal theft of the lands of the Palestinians. For decades much of the land Israel seized in the West Bank was called the "occupied territories." Then the West decided to turn a blind eye to the illegal taking of Palestinian lands that were quietly transformed into part of the state of Israel.
Of course Israel won't admit it has "annexed" the Palestinian homeland. If they did they couldn't perpetuate the myth of the supposed "two-state" solution that underpins the blind support of the US and Canada. Once the two-state option is taken off the table, all that's left is Israel the Apartheid state and we don't care for that - no.
But Israel has annexed/stolen the Palestinian territories and made them it's own. That much is inarguable. Israeli forces no longer even make the pretence of meeting the duties imposed on an occupying power, including:
The occupant does not acquire sovereignty over the territory.
Occupation is only a temporary situation, and the rights of the occupant are limited to the extent of that period.
The occupying power must respect the laws in force in the occupied territory, unless they constitute a threat to its security or an obstacle to the application of the international law of occupation.
The occupying power must take measures to restore and ensure, as far as possible, public order and safety.
To the fullest extent of the means available to it, the occupying power must ensure sufficient hygiene and public health standards, as well as the provision of food and medical care to the population under occupation.
Collective or individual forcible transfers of population from and within the occupied territory are prohibited.
Transfers of the civilian population of the occupying power into the occupied territory, regardless whether forcible or voluntary, are prohibited.
Collective punishment is prohibited
Reprisals against protected persons or their property are prohibited.
The confiscation of private property by the occupant is prohibited.
The destruction or seizure of enemy property is prohibited, unless absolutely required by military necessity during the conduct of hostilities.
“The scale, pace and strategic nature of Israel’s actions on settlement expansion and the intent behind it have brought us to a point where we need to be honest about what is actually happening on the ground ... It is de facto annexation,” Coveney told parliament.
“This is not something that I, or in my view this house, says lightly. We are the first EU state to do so. But it reflects the huge concern we have about the intent of the actions and, of course, their impact.”
The difference between occupation and annexation is critical as Palestinians living on annexed land would technically be living inside Israel without citizenship rights.