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Middle East Palestine blasts Israeli occupation moves

PALESTINIAN leaders blamed US President Donald Trump after Israel’s parliament erected new legal barriers to a two-state solution today.

Under an amendment passed by the Israeli Knesset, any future law dividing Jerusalem between Israel and Palestine will require the approval of a two-thirds super-majority.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh accused the US and Israel of declaring war on his people and their religious and political identity.

“This vote clearly indicates that Israel has officially declared the end of the so-called political process and has already begun to impose dictating and de facto policies,” he said, according to Palestine’s Wafa news agency.

Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) secretary-general Saeb Erekat condemned both the new legislation on Jerusalem and Monday’s vote by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party urging annexation of illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.

He said that the two developments were the outcome of last month’s unilateral decision by Mr Trump to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, which was subsequently followed by Guatemala and Honduras.

The PLO leader told Voice of Palestine Radio that they were “part of new US-Israeli collaboration to dictate a solution and destroy the two-state principle,” Wafa reported.

Mr Abu Rudineh said later: "There is no legitimacy to the Trump decision and there is no legitimacy to all the decisions of the Israeli Knesset. We will not in any way allow such plans that are dangerous for the future of the region and the world to pass.”

He called for united Arab, Islamic and international action to oppose “Israel’s uncontrolled behaviour that is pushing the region into the abyss.”

Mr Abu Rudineh also said that the January 14 meeting of the Palestinian Central Council (PCC) would debate how to resist the latest Israeli measures.

Khalid Musmar, who heads the Palestinian National Council (PNC), the PLO parliament-in-exile, said that Hamas, which has recently reconciled with the PLO, and Islamic Jihad were formally invited to the PCC meeting.

Yesterday, the PNC urged the United Nations to condemn Likud’s annexation vote “and put an end to this arrogance and reckless challenge, which is an explicit declaration against peace and stability in the region.”

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