Saeb Erekat, the Secretary-General of the Palestine Liberation Organization, on Monday blasted the new unity government which was agreed upon between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Blue and White chairman Benny Gantz.
“The new Israeli government has two options; to either open the doors for a meaningful peace process or to further jeopardize any hope for peace. To pursue the path of cooperation, honoring its obligations under international law, or to carry on with the further expansion of its illegal colonial-settlements, annexation, and other violations of Israeli obligations,” he said in a statement.
He accused the Israeli government of “refusing to implement its obligations as the occupying power under international humanitarian law, even amidst the current threat of COVID-19, while systematically destroying the prospects of a negotiated peace between Israel and Palestine. It has also normalized the institutional discrimination, incitement, and racism against 1.5 million Palestinians living in Israel.”
The Palestinian Arabs, he claimed, “have been clear on what our vision of peace is in accordance to the plan presented by President Abbas to the UN Security Council. We expect support from the international community to facilitate a meaningful peace process based on international law and relevant UN resolutions for the achievement of the internationally agreed peace parameters, including two-states on the 1967 border, East Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Palestine and a just and agreed solution to the refugee issue based on UNGA resolution 194 per the Arab Peace Initiative.”
Taking issue with the clause in the coalition agreement which stipulates that the government will be able to apply sovereignty in the Jordan Valley and Judea and Samaria in July, Erekat said, “A government coalition based on a commitment to annex more occupied Palestinian territory is a threat to a rules-based world order in general, but to peace, security and stability in the Middle East in particular.”
“Annexation means the end of any possibility for a negotiated solution. It is an international responsibility to hold the new Israeli government accountable and to demand full implementation of its obligations under international law and signed agreements,” he stated.