PA threatens lawsuit against US if Israel proceeds with annexation

Opposition to Israel’s annexation plans is also heating up among Democrats in the U.S. 

By Aaron Sull, World Israel News

With Israel on the verge of forming a unity government, the Palestinian Authority (PA) is concerned about Israel’s plans to move forward with the annexation of Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria.

“We are looking for legal mechanisms to hold the U.S. government accountable in committing war crimes against the Palestinians together with Israel,” PA Justice Minister Mohammed al-Shalaldeh told China’s Xinhua news outlet this week.

“Recognizing the occupier’s sovereignty on the occupied lands is a war crime in itself, and according to the international law, no state has the right to recognize the sovereignty of any occupying state on others’ land,” he said.

On Wednesday, U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said America is prepared to recognize an Israeli declaration of sovereignty over settlements in Judea and Samaria and the Jordan Valley.

In response to Friedman’s remarks, PA President Mahmoud Abbas warned of serious consequences if the plan and subsequent annexation moved forward.

“If Israel annexes the Jordan Valley and parts of the West Bank, we will consider ourselves free of all previous agreements with Israel and America, and even consider withdrawing from the Oslo Accords,” he said in a speech to Fatah leadership in Ramallah on Wednesday.

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Meanwhile, opposition to Israel’s annexation plans is heating up in the U.S. Democratic party as well.

In a letter obtained by J Street, 30 former National Security officials urged the Democratic National Committee to officially adopt in its platform a condemnation against annexation.

“The 2020 platform should expressly state a commitment to a resolution of the conflict that ensures both Israel’s security and future as a Jewish and democratic state with equal rights for all its citizens, as well as Palestinian rights, including self-determination, security, and freedom,” the letter says.

“It should include clear opposition to the ongoing occupation, settlement expansion, and any form of unilateral annexation of territory in the West Bank as well as clear opposition to violence, terrorism, and incitement from all sides,” it says.

Joe Biden, the Democratic party’s presumptive presidential nominee, has been on the record several times as saying that if elected, he would pressure Israel not to take any action that might jeopardize a two-state solution.