Middle East Monitor / May 26, 2020
Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh has said that the Palestinian Authority is committed to maintaining order and applying its sovereignty in the occupied West Bank while defending the civil rights of Palestinians.
”This is an important battle,” Shtayyeh told a press conference yesterday in Ramallah. “We are in an important battle, a battle over the Palestinian national presence in the territory and to prevent the annexation of Palestinian territory for the benefit of the settlement enterprise.”
The Prime Minister’s speech was a response to the recent decision by President Mahmoud Abbas to end security cooperation with Israel and the United States, citing the imminent threat of Israeli annexation of large parts of the occupied West Bank.
Following this, Shtayyeh met with the heads of the PA security services and asked them to stop all forms of security coordination. He insisted that the PA would continue to act as a sovereign state in the occupied West Bank and that it sees itself as being released from agreements with Israel.
The PA will not allow the public’s civil liberties to be violated, he added, and will press for international legal action against Israel with the help of third parties.
In addition to security cooperation between the Israeli military and Palestinian security forces, civil ties between Israel and the PA are also set to end, claimed the Times of Israel.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday that he has set a July date for when his country will annex parts of the occupied West Bank. He has told Likud members of the Knesset that he has no intention of changing this.
Annexation looks set to be coordinated with the US, in accordance with the so-called “deal of the century” which President Donald Trump unveiled in January.
The plan endorsed the extension of Israeli sovereignty and refers to Jerusalem as “Israel’s undivided capital”. According to international law, East Jerusalem is occupied territory, although there is an argument that the whole city is occupied illegally by Israel.