Palestinian Authority condemns Trump’s ‘annexation’ letter to Netanyahu

Former US president Trump sent a letter to former Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu authorizing Israeli sovereignty in the West Bank.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shake hands after Trump's address at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem (photo credit: REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)
U.S. President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shake hands after Trump's address at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem
(photo credit: REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)

In a first response to former US president Donald Trump’s letter authorizing Israeli sovereignty in the West Bank, the Palestinian Authority on Monday condemned it as an American endorsement of Israel’s “racist” and “colonial” projects.

The PA was responding to an exclusive story in Sunday’s The Jerusalem Post, which revealed that Trump had sent a letter to former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, authorizing him to annex parts of the West Bank.

Trump letter allowed for Israeli sovereignty in West Bank

The three-page letter, dated January 26, 2020, said Israel would be able to extend sovereignty to parts of the West Bank if Netanyahu agreed to a Palestinian state in the remaining territory.

A statement issued by the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned what was revealed in the letter, saying it was “official piracy and extension of the ominous Deal of the Century,” a reference to Trump’s Vision for Peace for solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

U.S. President Trump and Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu at the unveiling of Trump's ''Deal of the Century,'' January 28, 2020 (credit: KOBI GIDEON/GPO)U.S. President Trump and Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu at the unveiling of Trump's ''Deal of the Century,'' January 28, 2020 (credit: KOBI GIDEON/GPO)

The letter is “an integral part of the previous US administration’s endorsement of, and absolute support for, the occupation and its racist expansionist colonial projects,” the statement said.

The letter and Trump’s “anti-peace plan have no legal validity, will not give any legitimacy to the massive annexation of the occupied West Bank, and is considered a blatant aggression against international law, international legitimacy resolutions and signed agreements,” it said.

“The content of this colonial letter collapsed with the downfall of the Deal of the Century, which was thwarted by the steadfastness of our people and our leadership,” the PA said.