Palestinian leader declares end to agreements with Israel, U.S.

RAMALLAH, WEST BANK—Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday declared an end to all agreements and understandings with Israel and the United States, according to the Palestinian news agency Wafa.

Abbas’ statement came in response to Israeli plans to annex settlements and the Jordan Valley in the occupied West Bank, which could move forward quickly after Israel’s new government was sworn in.

“The Palestine Liberation Organization and the State of Palestine are absolved, as of today, of all the agreements and understandings with the American and Israeli governments,” Wafa cited Abbas as saying at an emergency meeting.

The leader added that this would include security arrangements. Abbas has threatened similar moves in the past, but has not implemented them.

He added that Israel would now have to “shoulder all responsibilities and obligations in front of the international community as an occupying power over the territory of the occupied state of Palestine,” according to Wafa.

The United States, as a “primary partner with the Israeli occupation government,” will be “fully responsible for the oppression of the Palestinian people,” Abbas added.

Israel’s new government plans to annex settlements and the Jordan Valley in the West Bank, in accordance with U.S. President Donald Trump’s Middle East plan.

The plan, released in late January, was widely criticized, and Palestinians have rejected it out of fear it will recognize Israeli claims to parts of the West Bank that they want for a future state.

The U.S. plan said some 30 per cent of the occupied West Bank should become part of Israel under any future peace deal with the Palestinians.

The Palestinian leadership has been boycotting the U.S. government since Trump unilaterally recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in late 2017.

Israel’s acting prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, began his fifth term in office Sunday.

The coalition deal signed by Netanyahu, of the right-wing Likud, with Blue and White leader Benny Gantz, who is set to take on the role of prime minister in November 2021, states that Netanyahu may ask the cabinet and parliament to vote on annexation as early as July 1.

Israel seized control of the West Bank and East Jerusalem during the 1967 Six-Day War. The Palestinians claim the territories for their own state, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Get more of what matters in your inbox Start your morning with everything you need to know, and nothing you don’t. Sign up for First Up, the Star’s new daily email newsletter. Sign Up Now

Read more about: