Palestinians 'will resist Netanyahu plans' to annex West bank, says foreign minister
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad al-Maliki has said Israel Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu would face a real problem if he goes ahead with plans to annex illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.
Maliki, speaking on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Jordan, slammed Netanyahu's announcement on Saturday that Israel would seize the Palestinian lands if he is re-elected, something considered illegal under international law.
"If Netanyahu wants to declare, you know, sovereignty over, Israeli sovereignty over the West Bank, then you know, he has to face a real problem. The presence of 4.5 million Palestinians, what to do with them? You know, he cannot expel us, because we are not going to accept to be expelled," he said.
"We will stay there. We will resist, you know, such behaviour, such decision, and then you know, the international community has to deal with us, you know, in that respect."
Maliki said that Netayahu's pledge is part of his election campaign "in order really to win the right wingers you know in Israel", where has allied with parties deemed "fascist" by some commentators.
He also said US President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israels capital and the occupied Syrian Golan Heights - both considered illegal under international law - contributed to Netanyahu's latest audacious move.
"But believe me you know what encouraged Netanyahu to say what he said last night was you know Trump's policy and Trump's behaviour when Trump you know decided to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and also the Israeli sovereignty over the occupied Syrian Golan Heights."
Despite Trump's unequivocal support for Israel, Maliki said that Palestinians would continue to resist Israel's occupation.
"Look you know, we, who are we? You know, the Palestinians under occupation, you know, to be able to face US policy... we had the courage to say no to the Americans, many times, we had the courage to break relations with the Americans when they decided to move the embassy and to recognize Jerusalem as capital," he said.
"And we are taking, you know, to Americans to the to the courts, to the International Court in The Hague, you know, for moving the embassy."
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu pledged Saturday to annex illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank if he wins the upcoming general election.
"I will apply (Israeli) sovereignty, but I don't distinguish between settlement blocs and isolated settlements," he said in an interview to Channel 12 television.
Settlements built on land occupied by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War are deemed illegal by the international community and their ongoing construction is seen as a major barrier to peace.