PA warns Israel against applying sovereignty

Abbas's spokesman threatens that Israel applying sovereignty over Judea and Samaria will lead to an escalation and instability.

Dalit Halevi ,

Nabil Abu Rudeineh
Nabil Abu Rudeineh

Nabil Abu Rudeineh, a spokesman for Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas, on Monday blasted comments by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who said his government is discussing with the Trump administration a bill which would extend Israeli sovereignty to Judea and Samaria.

In a statement published by the official PA news agency Wafa, Abu Rudeineh said that unilateral measures by Israel on this issue would not change reality because “the entire settlement is illegal.”

He warned against escalating tensions and security instability if this step is indeed implemented. "We warn against the implementation of such measures that will eliminate any international effort aimed at saving the diplomatic process," said Abu Rudeineh.

He further noted that no side has the right to discuss the status of Palestinian land because it contravenes all the international resolutions which determined that the Palestinian lands which have been occupied since 1697, including the eastern city of Al-Quds, are lands of the Palestinian state which has been accepted as a UN non-member observer state.

Saeb Erekat, secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), criticized Netanyahu's comments earlier on Monday as well, saying, "Netanyahu's latest statement... confirms U.S. complicity with Israeli colonial plans."

He also condemned the Israeli moves as "land theft".

Later on Monday, the White House denied claims that the Trump administration is holding talks with Israeli senior officials regarding the “Sovereignty Law”.

Josh Raffel, a spokesman associated with President Trump’s adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, said, "Reports that the United States discussed with Israel an annexation plan for the West Bank are false.”

The bill in question, which was drafted by Land of Israel Lobby chairman MK Yoav Kisch (Likud), would not extend Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria, but would establish what he called the “legislative mechanism” to apply sovereignty over Israeli towns in the future.

“This bill will allow cabinet ministers to set up a timetable [for the application of sovereignty],” said Kisch. “It is the legislative mechanism will enable the application of [Israeli] sovereignty onto land in Judea and Samaria considered vitally important to the State of Israel.”