The Palestinian Authority has stepped up efforts against the possibility Israel’s newly-established national emergency government could ultimately move on separate election pledges of both Incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Parliament Speaker Benny Gantz to annex significant parts of the West Bank, including the Jordan Valley and the Biblical districts of Judea and Samaria.
P.A. President Mahmoud Abbas stated in a televised address that Ramallah will regard all past agreements with both Jerusalem and Washington as null and void if Israeli sovereignty was asserted over territories the Palestinians demand for their aspired state. “In this context, we have informed the relevant international parties, including the American and the Israeli governments, that we will not stand handcuffed if Israel announces the annexation of any part of our land,” said Abbas, stressing that, “We would regard agreements with Israel and the United States completely cancelled.”
It is important to note that Israeli officials from both political blocs within the unity government refused to either confirm or deny TV7 inquiries over plans to extend Israeli sovereignty over the West Bank.
A Palestinian source informed TV7 that President Abbas’ remarks were made in response to comments by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a press briefing earlier last night. After expressing satisfaction in the formation of a new Israeli government as a fourth election would have been neither in Israel’s nor the world’s “best interest,” the top American diplomat added, “As for the annexation in the West Bank, the Israelis will ultimately make those decisions. Those are – that’s an Israeli decision, and we will work closely with them to share with them our views of this in a private setting.”
When asked about a recent delivery of U.S. aid to the P.A. to help combat the coronavirus pandemic, Pompeo voiced hope the funds would be used transparently as a genuine means to help the Palestinian people. “we are happy to provide that $5 million of assistance and we hope that it’ll get to the right place,” he said, going on to explain that, “Our concern with having provided assistance, the reason we stopped providing assistance previously was that this – these resources weren’t getting to the place they needed to, to the Palestinian people.”
Secretary Pompeo also clarified that, “We’ll evaluate whether this $5 million both worked, delivered, and second, if there’s more resources that are both either appropriate or can be delivered in a way that actually gets to the Palestinian people.”