Palestinian officials: We will respond to annexation with violence

Palestinian strongman Jibril Rajoub says clashes will be inevitable if Israel annexes settlements, warns every young Palestinian “can turn into a powder keg.”

By Paul Shindman, World Israel News

Palestinian officials warned that any move by Israel to annex settlements will result in Palestinian violence.

“If there is annexation, we are going to a confrontation on the ground,” Jibril Rajoub told Kan Radio. A senior member of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party, Rajoub heads the Palestinian soccer association and has waged a campaign to get Israel kicked out of FIFA, the international soccer federation.

Before that Rajoub was the general in charge of the Palestinian security services with a reputation built on intimidation.

Earlier, a top adviser to Abbas hinted that a unilateral Israeli move to impose sovereignty over territory Palestinians say should be theirs might lead to a renewal of suicide bombings.

“Every home, every young person… can turn into a powder keg if Israel carries out the annexation. When a person loses hope for peace and justice he can turn into a bomb,” Mahmoud al-Habbash said.

The Hamas terror group also said annexation would be a reason for the spilling of blood, with Hamas official Maher Salah telling a Hamas news website that annexation “is a real threat to the Palestinian national project, and will open new doors of conflict and will increase the fire … we will protect it with our blood.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made July 1 his target date for beginning to annex Jewish settlements in the Jordan Valley and Judea and Samaria. However, that date may get pushed off as the previously anticipated American approval of any annexation may not be on the same schedule as Netanyahu’s.

Under the plan, Israeli and American officials are mapping the settlements to be annexed in a move that would give Israel approximately 30 percent of the territory in Judea and Samaria and the Jordan Valley, leaving the rest for a future Palestinian state.

Israeli settler leaders are divided on the plan, with some supporting Netanyahu and others openly criticizing the move, saying they are totally opposed to the idea of a Palestinian state and that several settlements would be left unprotected.