PA: Arab states won’t return our calls about Israeli annexation

While more moderate Arab governments have condemned Israel’s annexation plans, the Palestinians want to see action.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

The Palestinian Authority (PA) complained Monday that it is still waiting for Arab countries to unequivocally support its stance against Israeli sovereignty plans for parts of Judea and Samaria.

In an interview on a Palestinian radio station, Foreign Minister Riyad al Maliki said that he had reached out to Arab leaders after an Israel Hayom report last week quoted unnamed sources in the Arab world, saying that their governments would make noise about the coming annexation but tacitly accept it.

“We made contact through official and unofficial channels in order to ask for clarifications, but we have yet to receive a denial or a confirmation regarding these reports,” he said.

Al Maliki added that the Palestinians are looking to the entire international community “to bring about the political isolation of Israel and the Trump administration in the U.S.” He also made a barely veiled threat, saying that if Israel continues with its annexation plan, “it will cause a wave of violence, terror and instability.”

The leaders of Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf states have all supported the Palestinian position in public, with the strongest statements made by Jordan’s King Abdullah II.

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“If Israel really annexed the West Bank valley in July, it would lead to a massive conflict with the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan,” he told Germany’s Der Spiegel newspaper last month, saying “all options” are on the table.

Israeli officials have dismissed the idea that Jordan would break relations with Israel over any annexation, as the Hashemite Kingdom’s security depends in large part on its cooperation with Jerusalem. It’s also dependent on U.S. support.

On Monday, the United Arab Emirates’ Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Anwar Gargash, took to social media to condemn annexation.

“Continued Israeli talk of annexing Palestinian lands must stop,” he tweeted. “Any unilateral Israeli move will be a serious setback for the peace process, undermine Palestinian self-determination & constitute a rejection of the international & Arab consensus towards stability & peace.”

On Tuesday, The Jerusalem Post quoted unnamed Arab officials who said that even limited annexation of areas well within Israeli consensus such as the cities of Ariel and Maaleh Adumim would be unacceptable.

“This is delusional thinking,” one said. “It will not just blow over – it will harm what Israel claims it wants, better relationships with Gulf Arabs.”

Another said, “Arab relations with Israel are so good, better than ever. The prospect of historic breakthroughs with the Gulf states are improving every day. The last thing we need is new tensions with the Israelis…. Who benefits from creating a new crisis now?”

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