Contributed by Jim Hayes
Responding to the declared intention of the new Israeli government to press on with the annexation international recognised Palestinian territories, the elected Palestinian Authority leadership has announced its intention to cut relation with Israel, and the United sates for backing the expansionist plan.
The Israeli takeover move may begin as early as the 1 July.
The region has reacted angrily. The United Nations and European Union have condemned the plan.
Even some former Israeli security officials have criticised the move. An important case is retired Major General Amos Yadlin, who questions the wisdom of a move that will damage Israel’s legitimacy.
On Tuesday last week, Mahmoud Abbas, the leader of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) and the President of the elected Palestinian Authority government, responded by declaring that they would break from any agreements with Israel. This has been reiterated by Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh, who has urged the Palestinian parliament to agree and terminate cooperation through government departments.
Although angry words have been directed against Israel, it is the United Sates that is being held as mainly responsible. Israel’s action comes out of the plan put forward by Donald Trump in January.
Palestinian leaders recognise that Israel would not have been able to announce such a move, without the protection of and signal to go ahead from Washington. The United States is seen as the real driver of events, which should be held responsible.
The west Bank still belonging to the Palestinians will be reduced to isolated islands, only connected by tunnels and bridges, and lacking in the means to function independently. Critics say that this is a set up for failure.
Annexing the West Bank is serious enough. But it is not the only part of the expansionist plan. The Jordan Valley will also be occupied. Not surprisingly, this has not gone down well with Jordan, and the cooperative relationship between the two states has now been fractured.
Securing control over the whole of Jerusalem as the new capital of Israel is the third part of the plan.
Palestinians living within the annexed areas will be reduced to non-citizens with few rights.
The international community has been called on by the Palestinian leadership, to provide the Palestinian people with protection.