Palestine President Abbas threatens to tear-up agreements with Israel, US if West Bank is annexed

Palestine President Abbas threatens to tear-up agreements with Israel, US if West Bank is annexed
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has threatened to cut all agreements with Israel and the US if annexation goes ahead.
3 min read
06 May, 2020
Palestinains reject Trump's deal [Getty]

The Palestinian Authority has threatened to cut all agreements signed with Israel and the US, if the annexation of parts of the occupied West Bank goes ahead.

During a meeting in Ramallah with the Fatah Central Committee, Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday evening said PA would not accept the annexation of any part of the occupied West Bank.

"I want to tell you here that if the Israeli government begins annexation, whether in the Ibrahimi Mosque, in the settlements or in the Jordan Valley, we consider ourselves absolved of all the agreements we signed with them and with the American administration because it is the one who brought the Deal of the Century," Abbas said.

"They are the ones who motivated the Israelis to carry on the annexation, and they are the ones who pushed them into this matter. They cannot tell us that they have nothing to do with it and that it is an Israel decision." 

Read more: The day after annexation: Israel, Palestine and the one-state reality

The so-called Deal of the Century was rolled out by US President Donald Trump in 2019, which broke international protocol and heavily weighed in favour of Israel. 

Trump’s overt favouritism towards Israel has been criticised across the world, which has seen Washington going against the foundations of the two-state-solution – an internationally endorsed deal to the Palestine-Israel conflict. 

"The Deal of the Century came from the Americans. They talked about it on more than one occasion. All officials, including the Secretary of State and others, said that this deal will be implemented. We will not wait for its implementation," he said. 

"The minute this is done, we will be absolved of all the agreements we have signed and which we were fully committed to without exception,” he told his top Fatah members, calling on them to decide on this matter "so that we will start implementing this decision", Abbas added.

Soon after Abbas' comments, US Ambassador David Friedman to Israel said Tel Aviv will start to annex Palestinian land in weeks.

He added that the US would be "ready to recognise" the annexation of the Palestinian lands once Israel had "declared sovereignty" over them.

Expansion of illegal occupation

After unilaterally recognising Jerusalem as Israel's capital in December 2017 and its annexation of the Golan from Syria in March 2019, Trump in late January 2020 unveiled a peace plan for the Middle East that included many concessions to Israel.

The peace plan says it would let Israel annex a third of the West Bank, inside which are hundreds of illegal settlements along with the Jordan Valley.

It would give Palestinians limited autonomy in a small archipelago of territory with a capital on the outskirts of Jerusalem, but only if they meet the near impossible conditions set out by Trump.

Under the plan, Israel would retain control of the disputed city of Jerusalem as its "undivided capital", and annex settlements on Palestinian lands. Palestinians, however, want all of East Jerusalem to be the capital of any future state.

Initial maps released by the White House as part of its peace proposal indicated plans for Israel to annex all Israeli settlements and the fertile Jordan Valley, which makes up around a third of the occupied West Bank.

It also includes plans to give Palestine control of a slim stretch of the arid Negev desert alongside the border with Egypt.

The demilitarised Palestinian statelet would lack territorial continuity and instead be linked by special roads and tunnels, according to initial plans. 

It has been widely condemned by the rest of the international community, with many comparing it to the bantustans created under the Apartheid regime in South Africa.

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