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  HOME | World (Click here for more)

US Supports Likud’s Decision to Annex Settlements in West Bank, Abbas Says

JERUSALEM – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned on Monday the Israeli Likud party’s decision to annex Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

Abbas said in a statement published by the official news agency Wafa that Washington was complicit by refusing to condemn the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.

Abbas said Likud’s decision “could not be taken without the full support of the US administration, who have refused to condemn Israeli colonial settlements, as well as the systematic attacks and crimes of the Israeli occupation against the people of Palestine.”

The Palestinian leader stressed that this decision was “part of Israel’s plan to erase the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.”

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

The Likud resolution, voted on Sunday night, said that “in the jubilee year since the liberation of Judea and Samaria, including our eternal capital Jerusalem, the Likud central committee calls upon the elected officials of the Likud to work towards free construction and application of Israeli law and sovereignty in all liberated areas of settlement in Judea and Samaria.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was absent from the meeting of his party’s committee in Lod.

Netanyahu usually opposes statements of this type from his party, although in recent months he has appealed to the base more on the right of the Likud, a group that usually supports such initiatives.

The party’s decision, however, is not binding on the prime minister.

The opposition, for its part, condemned the Likud’s resolution.

The international community considers the Jewish settlements that Israel has built on land captured in the Six Day War of 1967 to be illegal.

Israel argues that it is linked by biblical and historical ties to the West Bank, and has security reasons for occupying the area.

Some 2.8 million Palestinians and about 400,000 settlers live in the area, and the Palestinians want to establish a state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip with East Jerusalem as their capital.

The Jewish settlements are one of the main points of contention in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority have been frozen since 2014.

 

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