Middle East Monitor / April 20, 2020
The Secretary of the Palestine Liberation Organisation has called for the international community to form a coalition to prevent Israel from annexing its illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank, Quds Net News reported on Sunday.
Saeb Erekat said that he was tasked by the PLO, Fatah and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to talk to officials from countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa and Asia in order to create such a coalition.
Speaking to Palestine Voice, Erekat said that Abbas also asked him to talk with Irish, Spanish, Russian and German officials for the same reason, noting that he has already sent letters to them.
“The annexation of the occupied Palestinian lands by Israel means the demolition of all the previous deals signed with Israel and the imposition of a new status quo,” explained Erekat. He added that this is the implementation of the Netanyahu-Trump “peace plan” known as the “deal of the century”.
According to Wafa News Agency, Erekat also said that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had asked the organisation’s Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nikolay Mladenov, to remain in contact with Israeli officials to ensure the protection of the Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons during the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
Guterres apparently pointed out ways to protect the prisoners, including reducing their number to improve public health conditions, reducing prison overcrowding and maintaining restrictions on family and healthcare visits.
The UN head stressed the need to conduct coronavirus tests on sick prisoners and isolate them from other prisoners as they are vulnerable to the risk of infection.
In response to Israeli claims that the PA incites against the occupation state, Erekat said that everyone should let the facts speak for themselves: “Israel detained Jerusalem Governor Adnan Gheith and Jerusalem Minister Fadi al Hadmi.
And since the start of the coronavirus outbreak, Israel has killed three Palestinians, wounded 57 others, detained 267 and demolished 52 Palestinian facilities.”