Service :
12 September 2019 - 15:33
News ID: 446986
President Mahmoud Abbas stressed that all agreements signed with Israel and their resulting obligations would end if the Israeli side annexes the Jordan Valley, the Northern Dead Sea and any part of the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967.

RNA - The Palestinian president's remarks came in response to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's announcement that he would annex the Jordan Valley, the Northern Dead Sea and a number of settlements if he wins the Israeli elections, WAFA reported.

He stressed that "we have the right to defend our rights and achieve our goals by all available means, regardless of the consequences, as Netanyahu's decisions contradict with United Nations resolutions and international law".

Also, Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh warned of Israeli plans to annex parts of the West Bank as part of Netanyahu's attempts to win votes in the upcoming elections.

"The land of Palestine is not part of Netanyahu's election campaign, and if he believes that by annexing the settlement blocs he will win electoral votes in the short term, he and Israel are the long-term losers," he said.

“Netanyahu is the chief destroyer of the peace process, and any foolish action he commits will leave negative consequences on him locally and internationally,” Shtayyeh added.

Meanwhile, Saeb Erekat, the secretary general of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) stated that Israel's plan to annex the Jordan Valley is manifestly illegal and merely adds to Israel’s long history of violations of international law; including its annexation of Jerusalem, the Latroun Valley, and the Syrian Golan Heights.

"Israel's unprecedented culture of impunity, enabled by international inaction, is the only explanation for Mr. Netanyahu's audacity in using annexation as an election ploy, and asking the Israeli public to facilitate yet another Israeli crime," Erekat said in a press release.

"The international community must act now to prevent Netanyahu and his allies from burying any remaining prospects for peace and a viable and independent Palestinian state. This includes by recognizing the State of Palestine on 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital; banning settlement products; and taking action against companies involved in the illegal Israeli colonial-settlement enterprise - which yield enormous profits to both Israel and the settlements, to the detriment of the occupied Palestinian population," he added.

Erekat stressed that the upcoming session of the United Nations General Assembly should be used as a platform to introduce policies aimed at entirely ending the Israeli occupation and saving prospects for a just and lasting peace.

"We do not and will not recognize Israel’s decision. As United Nations resolutions have repeatedly stated, Israel’s illegal annexations are 'null and void',” Erekat noted.

Meantime, Hanan Ashrawi, member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) noted that the Israeli prime minister's announcement of his intention to annex the entirety of the Jordan valley and Dead Sea as well as his plan to annex all illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank is unquestionably reprehensible.

She stated that the gravity of this clear statement of criminal intent is compounded by the assured close coordination and support from the administration of US President Donald Trump, which is now a partner in these intended crimes.

She said in a statement that Netanyahu's announcement was overloaded with overt racism and reflected his agenda of hastened ethnic cleansing of up to 60% of the occupied West Bank.

Ashrawi added that this was glaringly evident in his announcement that the planned annexation would not include a single Palestinian, whom he assured were "free to leave", including to Jordan. Such remarks are abhorrent and alarming.

Ashrawi underlined that Netanyahu's agenda has always been about theft of Palestinian land and resources as well as the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people.

She underscored that this announcement is a declaration of war against the Palestinian people's rights as well as the very foundations of the international rules-based order. This lawlessness is a threat to international peace and security and it condemns the entire region to perpetual conflict and compounded suffering.

The PLO official said the international community has a duty to be proactive and to steer clear from complacency. The world cannot afford to fail in stopping this runaway train of right-wing, racist, and hostile politics in Israel. 

"The acquisition of territory by force is a flagrant violation of the UN Charter and international law and all Israeli settlements constitute a war crime under the Rome Statute. In light of Netanyahu's announced agenda, permanent members of the Security Council have a duty to respond with immediate action, in line with their responsibilities under the UN Charter. Further, these developments should move the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to assume her responsibilities and open an investigation without any further delay. The only way to stop this downward spiral that Israeli politicians are creating in complicity with the Trump administration is by exacting a price to this criminal conduct, including through sanctions, boycott, and divestment," she added.

"We will not surrender to the dictates of a desperate and racist politician who is plunging the entire region into conflict and strife," Ashrawi stressed.


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