Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas Reuters

The Palestinian Authority (PA) “justice minister” announced that the PA intends to file lawsuits against the United States for supporting Israel's plans to apply sovereignty over parts of Judea and Samaria.

"We are looking for legal mechanisms to hold the US government accountable in committing war crimes against the Palestinians together with Israel," the official, Mohammed al-Shalaldeh, told the Xinhua news agency.

The US support for Israel's plan to annex “Palestinian lands in the West Bank” is one of these crimes, he noted.

"Recognizing the occupier's sovereignty on the occupied lands is a war crime in itself, and according to the international law, no state has the right to recognize the sovereignty of any occupying state on others' land," al-Shalaldeh said.

He also announced that lawsuits will be filed against international companies that operate in “Israeli settlements”.

The PA is angry over 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, PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas threatened to cancel all agreements signed with Israel if it annexes any part of Judea and Samaria.

The PA has also taken issue with the US administration’s apparent support for the Israeli move.

On Wednesday, US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman 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.

Abbas’ spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, later blasted Friedman and said, "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."