PA eyes international coalition to block Israeli sovereignty bid

'Next few weeks will be decisive'. As date for Israel's sovereignty plan nears, PLO and Arab MKs lobby Europe, Arab states to intervene.

David Rosenberg ,

Saeb Erekat (left) and Mahmoud Abbas (right)
Saeb Erekat (left) and Mahmoud Abbas (right)
REUTERS

Leaders of the Palestine Liberation Organization will gather in Ramallah Wednesday to draw up the Palestinian Authority’s strategy for blocking Israel’s plans to apply sovereignty over parts of Judea and Samaria, PLO Secretary-General and PA parliamentarian Saeb Erekat said Wednesday.

With July 1st, the date laid out by the ruling Likud party and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for the beginning of Israel’s sovereignty plan, fast approaching, Palestinian Authority leaders and Israeli Arab lawmakers have ratcheted up their efforts to lobby foreign powers, including the European Union and moderate Arab states, and the United Nations to pressure Israel to drop its bid to apply sovereignty.

On Wednesday morning, the PA’s WAFA media outlet reported that the PLO central committee will gather later today to plan the PA’s strategy to block Israel’s sovereignty plan.

Erekat told Voice of Palestine radio Wednesday that in the meeting, PA leaders will plan how to forge international opposition to the Israeli sovereignty plan into a powerful deterrent, forcing Israel to drop its plans to apply Israeli law over some 30% of Judea and Samaria.

PA chief Mahmoud Abbas “is working day and night to save the peace process,” said Erekat. “In the coming weeks

“There is no chance the US and Israel will back away from the annexation plan,” Erekat said Wednesday, “except with an international coalition saying ‘No’ to Israel, and making clear to [Israel] that there will be consequences for implementing this plan.”

"Everyone should take matters seriously, in light of Netanyahu's insistence on implementing the annexation and settlement plan and imposing facts on the ground,” continued Erekat, urging France, Germany, and Britain to intervene.

Following a report by Israel Hayom Wednesday morning that moderate Arab states are quietly backing Israel’s plan to apply sovereignty – despite officially opposing the move – Erekat said the PA would demand states like the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Jordan explain the statements made by a number of senior officials.

“We will request explanations,” said Erekat. “Arab states will not permit the annexation plan to go ahead.”

Along with the PA’s efforts to forge an international coalition against Israel’s sovereignty plan, some Israeli Arab lawmakers have joined in lobbying foreign powers to intervene.

MK Yousef Jabareen (Joint List) discussed his own efforts to build an international coalition opposed to the sovereignty plan,” Israel Hayom reported.

“I spoke yesterday with the foreign minister of Luxembourg, Jean Asselborn, who emphasized that annexation would endanger regional peace and would constitute a violation of international law.”

“I suggested that an international peace summit be held to advance the two-state solution and to bring strong opposition to annexation. We will continue to seek allies in Israel and around the world who are opposed to deepening of the occupation and the termination of peace.”



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