Israeli annexation is a ‘final nail in the coffin’ of Palestine | News

Ramallah, occupied West Bank – Despite the delay in the long-awaited declaration of an Israeli plan to annex a third of the already illegally occupied West Bank, including parts of the strategic Jordan Valley, Palestinians denounced the plan with some protests in Ramallah and Gaza City.

Israel’s Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi said in a radio interview on Wednesday that the announcement of the annexation plan was not imminent, despite the July 1 date set by the coalition government to start the process fiercely. opposite. Instead, he told the interviewer to forward more questions on the matter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Still, about 150 Palestinian protesters gathered on Wednesday night in downtown Ramallah, the headquarters of the Palestinian Authority, to denounce the plan. They said that despite the deferred statement, annexation was still on the table.

Holding posters and waving Palestinian flags, crowds chanted anti-occupation slogans such as “Down, down with the occupation” and “We will resist until full liberation. We will not leave.”

Announced in January as the “Middle East Plan” of US President Donald Trump, the proposal wants to establish a demilitarized Palestinian state in a mosaic of disjointed Palestinian territories.

This is history that repeats itself. The annexation plan is another Nakba. [catastrophe] and Naksa [day of setback].

Zeina, 20 years old, Ramallah

While Israel’s deputy prime minister, Benny Gantz, said last week that annexation should wait until the coronavirus crisis ends, Netanyahu could still go ahead.

But Israeli military and intelligence officials have warned that the move could cause an uprising in the West Bank, posing a serious security risk to Israel.

Furthermore, the plan has received condemnation from the Palestinian public, its leaders and the global community alike.

‘Another catastrophe’

“I am angry that this story is repeating itself,” said Zeina Mustafa, a 20-year-old student from Ramallah.

“The annexation plan is another Nakba [catastrophe] and Naksa [day of setback]”he added, referring to the 1948 Palestinian exodus that saw more than 700,000 Palestinian Arabs driven from their homes and a declared Israeli state, and the 1967 Six Day War after Israel seized control of the West Bank from Jordan and Gaza Pulls Egypt.

For Belal Gaith, a 40-year-old Ramallah resident, the annexation plan would push Palestinians even further under a state of occupation and military rule.

“As soon as the annexation plan is declared, it will be the end of the Oslo Accords,” he said, referring to the 1993 agreement that established the Palestinian Authority (PA) and gave it limited powers.

“We can potentially lose every part of our land and live as prisoners under Israeli rule,” he added.

In the run-up to the advance declaration, the PA chief and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said the authority had terminated all its agreements with Israel and the United States amid Israel’s push for annexation.

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh warned that if Israel goes ahead with the plan, the Palestinians would unilaterally declare a state along the pre-1967 borders.

A Palestinian protester returns a tear gas canister during a protest against Israel’s plan to annex parts of the Israeli-occupied West Bank, near the Jewish settlement of Beit El, near Ramallah. [Mohamad Torokman/Reuters]

Disjointed lands

A key criticism of the plan is that it would prevent Palestinians from accessing their agricultural land and water resources in the fertile Jordan Valley, known as the “bread basket” for Palestinians. The plan could destroy farmers’ export businesses and deprive them of their source of income.

Annexation of the Jordan Valley of Israel explained

Israel is creating an environment in which Palestinians cannot grow on their land and businesses, “said Walid Assaf, a Palestinian minister and chairman of the Wall and Settlements Commission.

“The crux of this conflict has been the land and Israel’s help to the Jewish settlers to take over it and drive the Palestinians out in the process.”

In recent years, Palestinian and Israeli NGOs have reported an increase in settlement construction in the occupied West Bank and the roads only for Jewish settlers connecting them to Israel.

The structures have further divided the Palestinian territories and added to the disjointed nature of the cities, towns and villages.

According to Furthermore, Israel has already taken practical steps to annex the areas included in the plan, and the Jewish state has allegedly built three new settlements in recent months; two near Nablus and one near Hebron.

Palestinian man smokes a cigarette during a protest in the Israeli-occupied West Bank

Annexation would prevent Palestinians from accessing farmland and water, especially in the fertile Jordan Valley [File: Mohamad Torokman/Reuters]

Just a formality

Still, many Palestinians believe the plan is just a formality and a de facto Israeli occupation of their land has been underway for many years.

“Israel’s annexation plan has been in process since 1967”help Salah Khawaja, coordinator of an anti-occupation campaign called Popular Committee to Resist the Wall and Settlements.

“Since then, Israel has built settlements and the wall. And so the annexation has been ongoing for a long time,” he added, while standing among the crowd of protesters in Ramallah.

Although the plan does not aim to annex occupied East Jerusalem, which the Palestinian Authority considers the capital of a future Palestinian state, the international community, including the United Nations and the European Union, has said it threatens to sabotage one or two peace agreements – state of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

“The plan will be the last nail in the coffin. It will end any possibility of a future Palestinian state and our right to self-determination,” Assaf said.

“It will also restrict the lives of Palestinians like never before. Making it impossible for us to build our lives or dream for the future.”

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