Ahead of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s annexation plans including takeover of the Jordan Valley (which makes up 20% of West Bank territory), which he earlier said had US-backing to go forward in as little as two months, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas announced late Tuesday that all prior agreements with the United States and Israel are now null and void.
This includes any and all prior 'security agreements' with the state of Israel, and most alarmingly all local security arrangements and any ground-level cooperation.
Abbas said at an emergency leadership meeting in Ramallah:
"The Palestine Liberation Organization and the State of Palestine are absolved, as of today, of all the agreements and understandings with the American and Israeli governments and of all the obligations based on these understandings and agreements, including the security ones."
This after Netanyahu promised to move on annexing areas of Jewish settlements in the West Bank that were "agreed" to as part of Trump's much touted ‘Deal of the Century’ first unveiled to the public earlier this year — only the Palestinian side never actually "agreed" to anything, according to prior PA statements, saying they weren't privy to discussion or deliberations, or that ultimately Tel Aviv "sacrificed nothing".
Axios summarizes the other crucial elements outlined in Abbas' speech as follows:
- Abbas said that, as the occupying power, Israel should now take the responsibility over the West Bank.
- Abbas stressed that the Israeli plan to move ahead on annexation is a unilateral cancellation of the Oslo Accords, signed in the 1990s.
- Abbas said the Trump administration was responsible for the crisis, and “has become complicit in the Israeli occupation." He praised “other American stakeholders” that are more supportive of the Palestinians.
- Abbas called on all the countries who are opposed to annexation and Trump's peace plan to recognize Palestine as a state.
The only surrounding Arab state to have lately voiced what we can say comes close to a threat has been Jordan, though it should be noted that Syria and Israel have been in a state of war essentially since the Jewish state's founding.
Abbas' final 'cutting off' of all agreements with Israel is in response to PM Netanyahu's swearing in of the new Israeli government Sunday wherein he declared "now is the time to annex the Israeli settlements in the West Bank." The Trump plan has been previously described as "Bibi's dream come true" and has long been seen as merely paying lip service to the Palestinians, without ceding anything of value.
The new red line 'protest' of the PA leadership will be nothing compared to when popular Palestinian anger and rage hits the street. The authority's withdrawal from all security cooperation in the West Bank all but guarantees Israeli police will have a much harder time keeping control of protests and likely coming anti-occupation riots.