PA condemns US statement supporting sovereignty

Palestinians say the approval is a “flagrant coup” against the internationally assumed principle of land for peace.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

The Palestinian Authority (PA) reacted harshly Tuesday to a State Department statement that said the United States was ready to recognize Israeli annexation of portions of Judea and Samaria and the Jordan Valley.

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates said in a statement that it “condemns in the strongest terms” such statements of support for Israel.

The American stand is “a flagrant coup against international terms of reference of the peace process, mainly land for peace, the principle of a two-state solution and the relevant United Nations resolutions that the U.S. administration has replaced with the so-called deal of the century as a vision of President Trump.”

The statement went on to question what would be left to negotiate if Jerusalem already made these areas – which constitute 30 percent of the disputed region – officially part of the Jewish state.

The PA rejected the American peace plan outright when President Trump revealed it in January, even though it provides for a (demilitarized) Palestinian state on 70 percent of Judea and Samaria, which would logically come under the heading of “land for peace.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu immediately accepted the plan in principle, and took major flak from his right-wing followers for indicating that he could consent to the establishment of an Arab state in Israel’s heartland.

The application of sovereignty to all Jewish towns and villages in areas liberated by Israel in the 1967 Six Day War by July is one of the conditions the Blue and White party agreed to earlier this month so that a national unity government could be formed with the Likud.

The vote on the new government has not yet taken place, as there are legal and other challenges to be overcome first. However, Likud sources stated confidently early last week that sovereignty would be applied, and that it would be “an achievement for the generations.

The State Department’s backing such a move made clear that American recognition was contingent on it being “in the context of an offer to the Palestinians to achieve statehood based upon specific terms, conditions, territorial dimensions, and generous economic support.”

This did nothing to mollify the PA. The statement was “an extension of the unqualified U.S. bias to the (Israeli) occupation and its expansionist colonial policies at the expense of the territory of the State of Palestine,” its Foreign Ministry statement said.