Palestinians threaten to end West Bank agreements with Israel


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The head of the Palestinian Authority (PA), Mahmoud Abbas, threatened yesterday to scrap all cooperative agreements with Israel that are used by both to run the differently controlled sections of West Bank if Israel goes ahead with declaring sovereignty over its settlements in that West Bank, as outlined in the Trump-offered peace deal.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmud Abbas has said he is ending “all agreements” with Israel and the United States in response to Israeli plans to annex parts of the occupied West Bank. Israel would now have to “bear all responsibilities… as an occupying power”, Mr Abbas said.

Similar warnings in the past have ultimately not been followed through.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wants to apply Israeli sovereignty to Jewish settlements and the Jordan Valley. The move would be in line with US President Donald Trump’s “vision for peace” between Israel and the Palestinians, which was unveiled in January. Mr Trump’s plan also envisages a Palestinian state in about 70% of the West Bank, all of Gaza, and with its capital on the fringes of East Jerusalem.

The Palestinians – who claim all of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem – have dismissed the plan as biased towards Israel and a denial of their rights.

If Abbas goes through with this threat, it will mean that the Palestinians will no longer cooperate with the Israelis on security matters. In that case do not expect the Israelis to stand by meekly when there is an almost guaranteed subsequent rise in Palestinian terrorist attacks. Like all actions by the Palestinian leadership since 1948, such a course by Abbas would end up shooting the Palestinians in the foot. Israel would be forced to move in and take power again, throwing Abbas and his corrupt PA out. There might be some initial objections by the Palestinian population, but since their lot has suffered since rule in their areas was shifted from Israel to the PA after the Oslo Accords, I suspect the protests will be superficial and short-lived.

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