All forms of Israeli annexation unacceptable: Palestine PM

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Ishtaye reiterated that all forms of Israeli annexation of parts of the West Bank lands were “unacceptable”.

Ishtaye made the remarks on Wednesday in a meeting with Jamie McGoldrick, UN humanitarian coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territory, and Gerald Rockenschaub, head of the WHO office in the occupied Palestinian territories, reports Xinhua news agency.

“We reject annexation in principle either it is a small or a bid area of our lands,” Ishtaye said, adding that the world “must be careful” of Israel’s intentions to go for a gradual annexation “to contain the international rejection of the plan.”

According to a statement, Ishtaye briefed the UN officials on the COVID-19 situation in the Palestinian territories and the measures it has taken to mitigate its outbreak.

“The outbreak of coronavirus in Palestine came earlier than we expected. However, the situation is still under control,” he said.

During the meeting, Ishtaye explored the role of the UN agencies in backing the Palestinian government to overcome the mounting difficulties due to the severing of all forms of coordination with Israel, according to a Palestinian official who declined to be named.

Last month, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced the breakdown of all agreements and understandings reached with Israel and the US, and stopped all forms of coordination with Israel.

The Palestinian leadership made this decision in response to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s controversial plan of annexing parts of the West Bank.

Currently, Netanyahu is pushing his plan to annex the Jewish settlements and the Jordan Valley, a portion of the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

Netanyahu set July 1 as the starting date for the beginning of the plan despite international condemnations.

The annexation plan is part of US President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace plan, so-called “Deal of the Century” that was revealed earlier this year.

A joint US-Israeli team is working on the maps that will determine the demarcation of areas to be annexed by Israel, a move that has been strongly criticized by the international community.

Israel captured the West Bank territories during the 1967 Middle East war.

According to UN resolutions, Israeli settlement activity is considered illegal.