Abbas says PA to no longer abide by accords with Israel, US

RAMALLAH, WEST BANK (AP) — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said the Palestinian Authority will no longer be committed to any signed agreements with Israel or the United States (US), following Israel’s pledge to annex large parts of the occupied West Bank.

It was not immediately clear how the announcement, which was made at a Palestinian leadership meeting late on Tuesday, would be implemented. The Oslo accords and other agreements in the 1990s created the Palestinian Authority and govern its political, economic and security relations with Israel.

“The Palestinian Liberation Organization and the State of Palestine are no longer committed to all signed agreements and understandings with the Israeli government and the American government, including the security commitments,” Abbas said.

He said Israel would now have to “uphold responsibilities before the international community as the occupying power”.

He also announced that the Palestinians would step up their campaign to join international organisations as a member state, in defiance of the US.

There was no immediate reaction from Israel or the US.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to annex the Jordan Valley and Jewish settlements in the West Bank in line with US President Donald Trump’s Middle East plan, which overwhelmingly favours Israel and was rejected by the Palestinians.

Netanyahu formed a new Israeli government earlier this month with his chief rival, Benny Gantz, following three elections and more than a year of gridlock. The coalition agreement allows Netanyahu to present an annexation proposal to the government as soon as July 1.

Israel captured the West Bank, along with east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, in the 1967 Mideast war. The Palestinians want all three territories for their future state, but the Trump plan would leave them with scattered clusters of enclaves surrounded by Israel.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas heads a leadership meeting at his headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah. PHOTO: AP