Thursday, May 21, 2020

Abbas Declares End To All Peace Agreements With Israel, U.S.

Yaron Steinbuch

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has declared an end to all peace agreements and understandings with Israel and the US — including the landmark 1993 Oslo agreement — because of the Jewish state’s plans to annex settlements in the West Bank.
“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 and of all the obligations based on these understandings and agreements, including the security ones,” Abbas said Tuesday.
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.”
The US, as a “primary partner with the Israeli occupation government,” will be “fully responsible for the oppression of the Palestinian people,” he added after an emergency meeting of his cabinet in Ramallah.
Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, has threatened similar moves in the past but has not acted on them.
His statement came in response to Israeli plans to annex Jewish settlements and the Jordan Valley — in accordance with President Trump’s Mideast plan.
That action could move forward quickly after Israel’s new government was sworn in.
Washington’s plan, which was released in January, was widely criticized, and Palestinians have rejected it out of fear it would recognize Israeli claims to parts of the West Bank that they want for a future state.
According to the plan, about 30 percent of the occupied West Bank should become part of Israel under any future peace accord with the Palestinians.
The Palestinian leadership has been boycotting the US government since Trump unilaterally recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in late 2017.
Israel’s acting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu began his fifth term on Sunday.
The coalition deal signed by Netanyahu, of the right-wing Likud party, with Blue and White leader Benny Gantz, who is set to take on the role of prime minister late next year, states that Netanyahu may ask the cabinet and Parliament to vote on annexation as early as July 1.

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