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Palestine starts process of ending all agreements with Israel and US over annexation fears

PALESTINIAN Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh instructed his cabinet members today to implement the decision taken earlier this week to cut all ties with Israel.

Mr Shtayyeh told ministers during an emergency meeting in Ramallah to start preparations following President Mahmoud Abbas’s announcement that the country was terminating all agreements and understandings signed with Israel and the US.

Mr Abbas declared an end to “security co-operation” with Israel over fears of the imminent annexation of vast swathes of Palestinian land as laid out in US President Donald Trump’s unilateral “deal of the century.”

The Palestine Liberation Organisation voted in 2018 to end arrangements with Israel and the US, leaving it up to Mr Abbas when to implement such a move.

In a speech on Tuesday he said: “The Palestine Liberation Organisation [PLO] and the state of Palestine are absolved, as of today, of all the agreements and understandings with the American and Israeli governments and of all the commitments based on these understandings and agreements, including the security ones.”

Mr Shtayyeh confirmed the Palestinian government’s full support for the decision and stressed that it would “work on translating this decision on the ground.”

“The announcement of the annexation of Palestinian lands and the imposition of Israeli sovereignty over the settlements is a violation of our signed agreements with Israel, a violation of international law and international legitimacy, and a threat to regional and international security,” he said.

“It reflects the agenda of the government coalition in Israel, which systematically works to destroy the establishment of the State of Palestine in addition to the siege on the Gaza Strip, the isolation and annexation of occupied Jerusalem, and the use of area 'C’ as a strategic reservoir to expand its settlements.”

Area C makes up more than 60 per cent of the occupied West Bank, with Israeli forces controlling the region after the signing of the 1993 Oslo accords.

Mr Shtayyeh called on the international community to help salvage the peace process and “rise to the level of responsibility and provide international protection for our people who are under occupation.”

Denouncements and statements condemning the “deal of the century” are not enough, he said, and the world now faced a “moment of truth for all those who believe in the two-state solution.”

“We want the world to stand for the moment of truth by recognising the State of Palestine,” he said.

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