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.”