Abbas: Israel's Goal, With Trump's Backing, Is Consolidation of an Apartheid Regime

A day after the Likud central committee voted to urge its leadership to annex the West Bank, the Palestinian leadership responds with vow to revisit agreements

U.S. President Donald Trump shakes hands with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, White House in Washington D.C., U.S., May 3, 2017.
Carlos Barria, Reuters

A day after the Likud central committee voted to urge party leaders to annex the West Bank, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas vowed to make "important decisions" in 2018. Israel must be held accountable for its "grave and systematic violations of international law," he said.

"We hope that this vote serves as a reminder for the international community that the Israeli government, with the full support of the U.S. administration, is not interested in a just and lasting peace," Abbas remarked. "Rather its main goal is the consolidation of an apartheid regime in all of historic Palestine."

On Sunday the Central Committee of Likud, headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, unanimously backed a resolution calling on the party leaders to move to formally annex the West Bank, which was conquered in 1967. Netanyahu was not at the party convention and the resolution is not binding, but it came mere hours after the Likud-led coalition approved a cooperation agreement with the European Union

The Likud resolution could not have been made without the Trump administration's support, Abbas said.

The Likud resolution is “part of Israel’s plan to erase the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people,” Abbas stated, according to the Wafa Palestinian news agency.

Yesterday the Palestinians announced that PLO delegation head Husam Zomlot would return home to advise on next steps regarding U.S. President Donald Trump’s announcement to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. After meetings and discussions about a response, Zomlot is expected to return to the Washington D.C.

Last week, Haaretz reported that the Palestinian Authority is about to hand in the documents required for signing on to 22 international conventions and treaties, 18 of which are under United Nations auspices, in protest against the unilateral American recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. 

This step, which is similar to decisions made in the past by Abbas, is intended to augment the recognition of a Palestinian entity as a signatory state to such treaties, similar to other states.