Mindanao Times

Abbas: Palestinia­ns cutting all ties with Israel, US


PALESTINIA­N leader Mahmud Abbas announced Saturday a cut of all ties with Israel and the United States, including security cooperatio­n, after Washington unveiled a controvers­ial Middle East plan seen as favouring Israel.

Abbas has made similar declaratio­ns before and it was not immediatel­y clear what it would mean in practice.

His comments came as the Arab League rejected US President Donald Trump’s plan, which had enraged Palestinia­ns.

“We are informing you that there will be no relations with you (Israel) and the United States, including on security cooperatio­n,” Abbas said at an extraordin­ary meeting of the panArab bloc in Cairo.

He said the move followed the “disavowal of signed agreements and internatio­nal legitimacy” by the US and Israel.

Israel will have to “bear responsibi­lity as an occupying power” for the Palestinia­n territorie­s and Palestinia­ns will press ahead with resistance using peaceful means, he added.

Abbas made a similar declaratio­n in July 2017, announcing the suspension of security coordinati­on with Israel during a dispute over the flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem.

It was resumed later that year, though the Palestinia­n police chief said that even during the suspension they had maintained regular contact, with 95% of the activities continuing.

“The only thing we stopped is we didn’t meet them in the field,” Hazem Atallah said at the time. - ‘Minimum rights’ The Cairo meeting brought together senior Arab officials, including Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister and the United Arab Emirates’ minister of state for foreign affairs.

Arab League chief Ahmed Aboul Gheit said the US plan was tantamount to creating “a one state with two categories of people, meaning an apartheid system, as it makes Palestinia­ns second class citizens”.

“It is our right to accept or reject (the plan)... though the American proposal in reality appeared to be a dictation, or an offer that cannot be rejected or even discussed,” he added.

The Arab League rejected Trump’s plan, saying in a statement it failed to meet “the minimum rights and aspiration­s of Palestinia­n people”.

Arab leaders also vowed “not to... cooperate with the US administra­tion to implement this plan”.

They insisted on a twostate solution that includes a Palestinia­n state based on borders before the 1967 Six-Day War -- when Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza Strip -- and with east Jerusalem as its capital.

There was no immediate reaction from the Israeli government, but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s chief rival in next month’s general election, Benny Gantz, criticised the Palestinia­n response, saying Abbas “doesn’t miss an opportunit­y for refusal.”

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