Palestine ‘ending accords with Israel, US’ over annexation plan: Abbas
RAMALLAH, May 20: Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas has said he is ending "all agreements" with Israel and the United States in response to Israeli plans to annex parts of the occupied West Bank.
Israel would now have to "bear all responsibilities... as an occupying power", Abbas said.
Similar warnings in the past have ultimately not been followed through. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wants to apply Israeli sovereignty to Jewish settlements and the Jordan Valley.
The move would be in line with US President Donald Trump's "vision for peace" between Israel and the Palestinians, which was unveiled in January. Trump's plan also envisages a Palestinian state in about 70% of the West Bank, all of Gaza, and with its capital on the fringes of East Jerusalem.
The Palestinians - who claim all of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem - have dismissed the plan as biased towards Israel and a denial of their rights.
Israel has occupied the territories since the 1967 Middle East war. More than 600,000 Jews live in about 140 settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Most of the international community considers the settlements illegal under international law, though Israel disputes this.
After a meeting of the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah on Tuesday night, Mr Abbas said: "The Palestine Liberation Organisation and the State of Palestine are today no longer bound by all agreements and understandings with the American and Israeli governments, and by all the commitments derived from those understandings and agreements, including those relating to security.
"From now on the Israeli occupation authorities must bear all responsibilities and commitments toward the international community as an occupying power."
Such a move, if implemented, could trigger dramatic changes on the ground in the West Bank, where accords dating back two decades affect the daily lives of Palestinians and help prop up an internationally recognised leadership. -AFP