Abbas: Deals with Israel, US to be reconsidered amid annexation plans

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has announced that Palestine will reconsider the deals and understandings reached with both Israel and the US, should Israel annex parts of the occupied West Bank.

“We will hold the US administration and Israeli government responsible for all the consequences,” Abbas said.

The televised announcement came after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated the new Israeli government has “the right and the obligation” to decide if and how it wants to apply sovereignty over the occupied West Bank during his one-day visit to Israel yesterday.

“I reminded them that, at the end of the day, this is an Israeli decision,” said the top US top diplomat in an interview with the Israel Hayom daily. “They will have both the right and the obligation to make a decision on how they are going to do it.”

However, Pompeo noted the issue was complex and required coordination with Washington, which has formed a joint team with Israel to map out new territorial lines in the West Bank in accordance with Trump’s Middle East plan.

Abbas accused Israel of turning its back on the agreements that had been reached with the Palestinian side.

He also noted that “Israel, which is encouraged by the US”, was planning to annex lands in Palestine, mainly in East Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley.

“This fact will compel us to reconsider all the agreements, treaties and understandings which had been either reached with the state of occupation or with the US,” added Abbas.

The so-called “deal of the century”, which Israel said it will implement unilaterally as benefits its political agenda, was described by Pompeo as meeting “the core requirements of both the Palestinians and the Israeli people.” The Palestinian leadership, albeit lacking any political vision, rejected the US-Israeli scheming. As Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas scrambles for peace conferences, Pompeo’s visit to Israel consolidates the annexation plans, despite US rhetoric attempting to sound cautious.

In an exclusive interview with Israel Hayom, Pompeo echoed US Ambassador to Israeli David Friedman, saying that the decision to extend sovereignty over settlements in the occupied West Bank is “Israel’s decision”. This decision, however, falls within the parameters of the international law manipulation which the US concocted for Israel’s demands.

In November, Pompeo refuted international law as regards Israel’s settlement expansion. “Calling the establishment of civilian settlement inconsistent with international law has not advanced the cause of peace,” he had stated.

Further asserting Israel’s contempt for international law, Pompeo reiterated that Israel’s decision-making reigns supreme. The US, according to Pompeo, is merely aiding in purported clarification. “We have clarified what we believe international law permits. And we recognize Israel’s right to make its own decisions.”

Putting it briefly, the US is clarifying what international law means for Israel and now framing the politics as being solely an Israeli decision. The international community, on the other hand, remains largely silent on the planned land grab and dispossession of the Palestinian people.

Warnings, which are what the UN has issued so far, hold no political sway over Israel’s violation of international law. EU countries France, Belgium, Ireland and Luxembourg are among the most prominent in advocating that Israel’s annexation of the occupied West Bank should be challenged. Yet there is also a considerable chance of the bloc capitulating to Israel as evidenced by the words of an unnamed senior EU official: “There is clearly a need to look at what annexation means in the context of international law and we do need to know our options.”

This lack of assertion is unfortunately a bonus point for Israel. So far there is little to suggest that the international community will take a harsher approach. While the US and Israel plan unhindered, the international community has not even been able to unequivocally articulate its definitive rejection of this latest phase in Zionist colonization.