Palestine has warned the United States not to “play with fire” by endorsing an Israeli scheme to annex the settlements the regime has constructed in the occupied West bank in defiance of international law.
Palestinian Presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh made the remarks on Monday, after Zman Yisrael, The Times of Israel’s Hebrew-language site, reported that Prime Minister Netanyahu was attempting to obtain public approval from US President Donald Trump for the regime’s annexation bid ahead of the September 17 elections in the occupied territories.
Just three days before Israel’s April 9 polls, Netanyahu had vowed to annex West Bank settlements if he won another term in office.
Abu Rudeineh stressed that any decision that affects the Palestinians’ national rights as well as international resolutions will be considered “illegitimate,” Palestine’s Wafa news agency reported.
The official further underlined Washington’s earlier instances of support for Israel, including recognizing occupied Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s “capital” and standing by the side of the regime on the issue of Palestinian refugees and the salaries of prisoners and martyrs in addition to Israeli settlers’ intrusions into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound.
He also warned that any US declaration of support for Israel’s new scheme would have “serious implications.”
“This step, if taken, would constitute ... playing with fire,” the Palestinian official said, emphasizing that stability and security are indivisible and that “peace would not be made at any price.”
Washington’s position will not create any for the regime, he added.
Abu Rudeineh further reiterated the Palestinian people’s resolve to defend their “national rights, history, heritage and holy sites, no matter how long it takes, and expressed his hopes that justice and Palestinian legitimacy will ultimately prevail.”
Since taking office in 2017, Trump has been showering Netanyahu with political gifts, including recognizing Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s “capital” and moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to the occupied city as well as cutting aid to the Palestinians and closing the Palestine Liberation Organization’s office in Washington.
Before Israel’s April elections, Trump signed a decree recognizing Israeli “sovereignty” over Syria’s occupied Golan Heights at the start of a meeting with Netanyahu in Washington.
Emboldened by the US president’s all-out support, the Tel Aviv regime has in recent months stepped up its settlement construction activities in the occupied lands in defiance of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334.
Settlements built on occupied land are illegal under international law and have been seen as a stumbling block to the resolution of the Palestine issue.
The Palestinians have frequently called for the establishment of their sovereign state along the pre-1967 lines with East Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital.