Palestinian officials “are stepping up pressure on Israel to cancel its planned annexation of part of the West Bank”.
If Israel proceeds, “they will immediately declare a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.”
The Palestinian government threatened “to declare Palestine as a state along the internationally recognized 1967 borders if Israel presses ahead with its plan to annex parts of the West Bank.”
Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Stayyeh stated at a Press Conference:
“We are waiting and pushing for Israel not to annex. If Israel is going to annex after July 1, we are going to go from the interim period of the Palestinian Authority into a manifestation of a state on the ground. That is where we will be heading in the next phase,”
Palestine views Annexation as an “existential threat…a total erosion of our national aspirations,”
PM Shtayyeh put forth a plan by the Palestinian Authority for the creation of a “sovereign Palestinian state, independent and demilitarized”. This plan is outlined in a 4 1/2 page proposal which has not been made public. It envisages the possibility of land swaps.
Palestine will not wait for an agreement with Israel if the latter declares annexation of the West Bank lands in July, he warned.
Ishtaye noted that the Palestinians have rejected U.S. President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace plan known as the Deal of the Century.
A four-and-a-half page counterproposal to Trump’s plan has been submitted to the quartet of Middle East mediators: the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations, said the Palestinian prime minister.
It proposed a demilitarized Palestinian state with “minor border modification wherever it is needed” and exchanges of land equal “in size and volume and in value” with Israel, he told reporters.
On Monday, Ishtaye said Palestine will stop its recognition of Israel if the Israeli government implements its annexation plan.
On May 19, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas declared the abolition of all agreements signed with Israel and the United States, including security coordination, in response to the Israeli plan to annex the occupied West Bank territories. (Xinhua)
Germany’s foreign minister “warned Israel that its plan to begin annexing parts of the West Bank would violate international law, but he declined to say how Germany or Europe would respond.”
Speaking at a news conference, Maas said that Germany and the European Union were seeking clarity about the Israeli plan, but he made a point that Europe considers annexation incompatible with international law.
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Featured image: A graffiti of Naji al-Ali’s Handala on the West Bank separation wall