Abbas declares end to agreements with Israel, US

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, attends the meeting of the Palestinian leadership, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, on May 19, 2020. (Photo: Thaer Ganaim/APA Images)
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, attends the meeting of the Palestinian Leadership, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, on May 19, 2020. (photo: Thaer Ganaim / APA Images)
Analysts are doubtful Abbas statement will amount to much change on the ground.

By Yumna Patel | Mondoweiss | May 20, 2020

While Abbas’ statements have made the front page of Israeli, Palestinian, and international news websites, one major question remains: will this time be any different?

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas declared late Tuesday night an end to “all agreements and understandings” with Israel and the United States, and that his government would be “handing over responsibility of the occupied territories back to Israel.”

In an emergency meeting with Palestinian leadership, Abbas said: “the Palestine Liberation Organization and the State of Palestine are absolved, as of today of all the agreements and understandings with the American and Israeli governments and of all the obligations based on these understandings and agreements, including the security ones.”

He went on to say that as an occupying power, Israel should “shoulder all the responsibilities and obligations” of “protecting the civilian population and their property” in accordance with international humanitarian law and the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Abbas said his decision was made in response to Israeli and U.S. efforts to move forward with annexation, which the newly formed Israeli government has said can happen as early as July. By moving forward with annexation plans, he said, Israel has “annulled the Oslo agreement.”

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