PA official: Sanction Israel if it annexes Judea and Samaria

PA “foreign minister”: We expect international community to sanction Israel if it starts to annex parts of Judea and Samaria.

Ben Ariel,

Riyad Al-Maliki
Riyad Al-Maliki
Issam Rimawi/Flash 90

The Palestinian Authority’s (PA) “foreign minister”, Riyad al-Maliki, on Monday called for sanctions on Israel if it starts to annex parts of Judea and Samaria.

He also questioned whether Israel was a "holy cow" no one dare touch, according to the AFP news agency.

Maliki was talking to reporters in Poland after US ambassador to Israel David Friedman said that Israel had the right to annex at least some of the territory that it liberated in 1967.

"Friedman with his statement is trying to help Netanyahu to have the courage to take such a decision" to annex, said Maliki.

"This is really something that the international community has to stand up to," he added, according to AFP.

"We cannot accept the annexation of territories by any country because this is (a) violation of international law," said Maliki, who added that sanctions should be imposed if Israel resorts to annexation.

"It should be expected that (the) international community will take up sanctions against Israel if Israel really ventures into such (an)approach. Or when it comes to Israel, is it really the holy cow that no one could really touch?" he said.

Meanwhile, the PA foreign affairs bureau said it was looking at filing a complaint with the International Criminal Court.

PA leaders said the Friedman comments showed "extremists" are involved in White House policy on the issue.

Senior PA official Saeb Erekat on Sunday said annexation would be a "war crime under international law." He also claimed any such interference by the US would be "US partnership in the crime of Israeli settlement plans."

Friedman, in an interview published by The New York Times on Saturday, said that some degree of annexation of Judea and Samaria would be legitimate.

"Under certain circumstances, I think Israel has the right to retain some, but unlikely all, of the West Bank," he said. He did not state what the US government's stance would be if Israel made such a move.

His comments came ahead of the expected publication of the economic portion of the Trump administration’s peace plan at a conference in Bahrain later this month.

The PA announced it would boycott the economic conference almost immediately after it was announced, with its “information minister” Nabil Abu Rudeineh saying that the conference would be a meaningless meeting that was part of a meaningless plan.

The PA has also rejected the US peace plan before it has even been unveiled, claiming it is biased in Israel’s favor.




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