PA believes annexation is inevitable, calls for ‘peaceful resistance’

“Netanyahu received a blank check from Trump, who told him he can deposit it anytime he wants,” Rajoub told reporters in Ramallah.

A view of the Maale Adumim settlement in the West Bank, Jan. 28, 2020.  (photo credit: MENAHEM KAHANA / AFP)
A view of the Maale Adumim settlement in the West Bank, Jan. 28, 2020.
(photo credit: MENAHEM KAHANA / AFP)
The working assumption of the Palestinians is that the Israeli plan to extend sovereignty to parts of the West Bank is inevitable because Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has received a green light from US President Donald Trump to do whatever he wants, Jibril Rajoub, member of the Fatah Central Committee, said on Sunday.
“Netanyahu received a blank check from Trump, who told him he can deposit it anytime he wants,” Rajoub told reporters in Ramallah. “The Palestinians are acting on this basis. Unless Netanyahu realizes that there would be a political, economic and security price for his action, he will carry out his plan.”
Rajoub, a former commander of the Palestinian Authority Preventive Security Service in the West Bank, called on Palestinians to launch a “peaceful popular resistance” against the Israeli annexation plan and said EU and UN envoys would take part in the protests.
Rajoub said that the first Fatah-sponsored anti-annexation protest will be held in Jericho on Monday, and urged Palestinians to participate. The protests would be peaceful, he said. “But if the annexation is imposed, our tactics and methods will change and will be taken after conducting dialogue with between all Palestinian factions, including those that are not part of the PLO,” such as Hamas.
He emphasized the need for Palestinian unity in order to confront the annexation plan. “We want to maintain Palestinian national consensus as long as our political goal is clear: a Palestinian state on all the territories occupied in 1967, with east Jerusalem as its capital,” Rajoub said. “We want a solution to the question of the refugees in accordance with UN resolution 194. The peaceful popular resistance is our top priority. This is the time to lay aside all our differences.”
Rajoub expressed opposition to “returning to the square of blood” with Israel, adding that this would not serve the Palestinian issue at this stage.
He said that resorting to violence against Israel would jeopardize the Palestinians’ diplomatic achievements in the international arena. “We believe that maintaining the state of conflict between the international community and Israel is an achievement,” Rajoub explained.
Repeating Palestinian opposition to Trump’s plan for Mideast peace, also known as the Deal of the Century, Rajoub said that the Palestinians are not seeking economic solutions. “We in Fatah are determined to change the reality in order to thwart attempts to liquidate our cause,” he said. “We need to agree that the occupation is our major enemy. We have no problem launching dialogue, as of tomorrow, with all factions to establish national partnership.”
Rajoub hinted that the Palestinian leadership might dismantle the PA, if and when the annexation plan is implemented. “At a certain phase, we will demand that Israel assume its responsibilities [over the PA-controlled areas],” he said.
Rajoub said that Palestinians representing “all components” of Palestinian society would participate in the anti-annexation protests.
“The protests don’t belong to Hamas or Fatah or the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine or any other party,” he added. “All Palestinians will participate in the activities, and they will represent all components of Palestinian society. We want our protests to be organized.”
The PA government, the PLO Executive Committee and the Fatah Central Committee will hold meetings in the Jordan Valley in the coming days “to send a message that this occupation wants to liquidate our cause.,” Rajoub revealed. “Trump gave Netanyahu a blank check to annex 30% of the West Bank. In Fatah we are working on the assumption that the annexation is inevitable. We don’t think in political terms, we don’t understand politics and we don’t want to understand politics. We are all mobilized.”
PA Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Information Nabil Abu Rudaineh said at the press conference that the Palestinians are opposed to any form of annexation, regardless of the size of the land slated for annexation. “For us, this is a matter of principle,” Abu Rudaineh said.
The Palestinian leadership, he said, will continue to boycott the US administration because of its policies and measures against the Palestinians. “When Trump said no to Jerusalem, President Abbas said no to Trump and no to America,” Abu Rudaineh said, referring to the US president’s December 2017 decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. “The Palestinian leadership will remain committed to this position.”
Regarding the possibility that the annexation plan could be announced on July 1, Abu Rudaineh said that “the next 10 days are fateful and dangerous.”
The Palestinians, he added, have lost confidence in the US and Israel. “We have already decided to end our agreements and coordination with the US and Israel. We have cut our ties with the US. President Abbas is the most courageous leader because he said that as long as Jerusalem is not on the table, Trump is also not on the table. The whole world is pressuring President Abbas to talk to the Americans, but the Palestinian national position remains firm. We will sit only with the Quartet [US, EU, UN and Russia] and only on the basis of international legitimacy. We won’t make any concessions regarding a sovereign Palestinian state on the June 4, 1967 borders, with Jerusalem as its capital.”