Palestinian govt slams Israeli intention to “annex” settlements in West Bank | Pakistan Today

Palestinian govt slams Israeli intention to “annex” settlements in West Bank

The Palestinian government said on Tuesday that Israel is evading all signed agreements through annexing settlements in the West Bank.

“Israel’s annexation threats mean that it has no interest in peace or achieving a solution for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict,” the government said in a press statement following its weekly cabinet meeting in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu reportedly told his Likud party meeting on Monday that he is in consultation with the U.S. administration over imposing Israeli sovereignty on Jewish-only settlements in the West Bank.

Washington, however, denies discussing the issue with Netanyahu.

Last December, Netanyahus’ Likud party voted in favor of imposing Israeli sovereignty on West Bank settlements in an internal meeting, which practically means annexation of these lands.

The decision has drawn international criticism, since Jewish settlements in the West Bank are seen illegal under international law.

“The Israeli decision to annex the illegal settlements in the West Bank is part of a plan to impose dictation on the Palestinian people that would lead to the establishment of an apartheid state,” Saeb Erekat, secretary-general of the Palestine Liberation Organization, said in a statement to official Palestinian radio station Voice of Palestine.

The Palestinian leadership “won’t accept such steps and will never negotiate with Israel over its war crimes,” he added.

Erekat also blamed the U.S. for supporting the decision.

The Palestinian government also slammed an Israeli bill to deduct money for families of Palestinian prisoners or those killed by Israel from Palestinian tax revenues collected by Israel, describing any deduction as “an act of piracy.”