Abbas spokesman blasts Friedman over support for sovereignty

PA chairman's spokesman threatens "serious steps" if Israel applies sovereignty over Judea and Samaria.

Elad Benari ,

Nabil Abu Rudeineh
Nabil Abu Rudeineh
Arutz Sheva

Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ spokesman on Wednesday slammed US Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, who said the US would support an Israeli move to apply sovereignty over parts of Judea and Samaria.

The spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, said, according to the Xinhua news agency, "Neither Israel nor the US has any right or legitimacy to take steps that violate the international law and resolutions.”

He also threatened to take "serious steps in response to the declaration of the annexation by Israel."

The Secretary-General of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Saeb Erekat said that the US aims at legitimizing the principle of “annexing occupied territory.”

PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi, meanwhile, described Friedman's statements as "incitement, criminality and destructive extremism," slamming his support to the application of Israeli law on “illegal settlements.”

Friedman had told the Israel Hayom newspaper in an interview that the application of Israeli sovereignty to those areas of Judea and Samaria designated for Israel under the Trump administration’s Middle East peace plan could happen as soon as the mapping process has been completed in the coming weeks.

Friedman also laid out the Trump administration’s terms for accepting Israeli sovereignty, emphasizing that the terms remained the same as those noted in the peace plan: the mapping out of the areas to be placed under sovereignty, Israel’s commitment to leave the door open to good-faith negotiations with the Palestinian Authority for a period of four years, and a partial freeze on the expansion of 15 Israeli towns outside of the major blocs.

PA officials are angered by the coalition agreement between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Blue and White chairman Benny Gantz, which states that the government could apply sovereignty to parts of Judea and Samaria this coming July.

On Monday, Abbas threatened to cancel all agreements signed with Israel if it annexes any part of Judea and Samaria.

Speaking to an online summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), Abbas said, "We have informed Israel and all international parties that if Israel, the occupying state, takes the step of annexing the Palestinian land, then we will renounce all the commitments, agreements and understandings with it and the American administration."