Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki..
(photo credit: REUTERS/MOHAMED ABD EL GHANY)
The Palestinian Authority has warned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about any attempt to annex the West Bank, which will lead "to a cycle of violence and chaos."
Speaking at the the World Economic Forum in Jordan, Palestinian Liberation Organization secretary-general Saeb Erekat chastized Netanyahu saying that "the international community cannot treat Israel as a state that is above the law," Channel 13 reported.
"We heard Prime Minister Netanyahu speaking openly about his intentions to separate the West Bank and Gaza Strip and about annexing the West Bank," Channel 13 quoted Erekat as saying. "This will bring the area cycle of violence and chaos."
In a separate interview with the Associated Press, PA Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki said the Netanyahu would face a "real problem" if the West Bank were to be annexed.
“If Netanyahu wants to declare Israeli sovereignty over the West Bank, then you know [that] he will face a real problem, the presence of 4.5 million Palestinians, [and] what to do with them,” Maliki told AP. "He won't be able to expel them."
He warned that PA would "resist" any attempt to apply such a policy onto the West Bank.
“We will remain there and...the international community will have to deal with us," the foreign minister added.
Maliki also slammed the United States during the interview saying that America had encouraged Israel and Netanyahu to make such bold statements by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital and recognizing Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights.
Netanyahu has come under heavy fire for his comments during an interview with Channel 12 News on Saturday night in which he vowed to annex territories in settlements and evacuate the illegal West Bank herding village of Khan Al-Ahmar, if he wins another term in the upcoming elections.
“We are dealing [with the Americans] on exercising Israeli sovereignty on Ma’aleh Adumim and other things,” Netanyahu said. “Everyone understands that the next term will be fateful for guaranteeing our security and our control over key territory in Judea and Samaria.”
Gil Hoffman contributed to this report.
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