Palestine on Tuesday declared the abolition of all agreements and understandings with Israel and the United States in protest against the Israeli plan to annex parts of the West Bank.
“The Palestine Liberation Organization 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 obligations based on these understandings and agreements, including the security ones,” Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said at the end of an urgent leadership meeting held in Ramallah.
From now on, the Palestinian leader called on Israel to shoulder all responsibilities and obligations as an occupying power, with all its consequences and repercussions based on international law and humanitarian law, particularly the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949.
The convention holds the occupying power responsible for protecting the civilian population under occupation and their property, criminalizing collective punishment, banning theft of resources, appropriation and annexation of land, banning forced transfer of the population, he added.
Analysts have said that “the security ones (obligations)” Abbas mentioned in his speech referred to the Palestinian decision to put an end to its security cooperation with Israel and the United States.
At present, the Israeli and Palestinian security forces have long-term cooperation in the Palestinian-controlled West Bank to maintain local law and order. Palestine also have an intelligence cooperation agreement with the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency to share counter-terrorism intelligence.
Once Palestine exits the “security obligations,” a security vacuum in the West Bank may occur, which means the suppressed forces — the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), the Palestinian Islamic Jihad Organization and other factions — may stage a comback, and Palestine and Israel may return to the old path of returning violence for violence, the analysts have said.
Abbas’s decision came in response to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s declaration of his plan to the Jordan Valley, part of the occupied West Bank, and apply Israeli law on the Israeli settlements built there, as his new government was sworn in before the parliament on Sunday.
The West Bank is an area seized by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war, where the Palestinians wish to build their future state.
In his speech, Abbas held the U.S. administration “fully responsible for the oppression befalling the Palestinian people and we consider it a primary partner with the Israeli occupation government in all its aggressive and unfair decisions and measures against our people.”
He urged the countries that have rejected U.S. President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace plan, known as Deal of the Century, to take “deterrent steps and impose serious sanctions to prevent the Israeli occupation state from implementing its schemes and its continuing denial of the rights of our people.”
Furthermore, Abbas declared that the state of Palestine will press ahead with signing and joining more international agreements and conventions.
“We will continue to pursue the occupation for its crimes against our people at all international authorities and courts. In this context, we affirm our confidence in the independence and integrity of the International Criminal Court,” he added.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Israel on Wednesday for talks with Israeli leaders on Israel’s plan to annex portions of the occupied West Bank, which is part of Trump’s peace plan.
On Jan. 28, Trump unveiled the controversial peace plan for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, which would limit the sovereignty of a future Palestinian state.
The plan is strongly objected by the Palestinians and the Arab world as well as international organizations such as the UN, which denounced the plan as a violation of international law.