Palestine denies media reports on dialogue with US

Palestine denied any contacts held with the United States, following Israeli media reports about a Palestinian-US dialogue over US President Donald Trump’s Mideast peace plan.

Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesperson for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said that Palestine’s position has not changed concerning the severed ties with both the current US administration and Israeli government, Xinhua news agency reported on Sunday.

Abu Rudeineh reiterated the Palestinian leadership’s decision against the Israeli annexation, saying that all plans to impose the annexation in one go or in phases are “a matter of principle,” according to a statement published by Palestine’s official WAFA news agency.

“Any dialogue must be based on UN resolutions, the Arab Peace Initiative and the peace plan proposed by President Mahmoud Abbas before the United Nations Security Council and on the basis of the principle of the two-state solution that ends the Israeli occupation and allows the establishment of an independent state of Palestine on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital,” said Abu Rudeineh.

“Israel must assume its full responsibility as an occupying power if it goes ahead with annexation,” he was quoted as saying in the statement.

On Saturday night, Israel’s Public Radio reported that Abbas declined a phone call by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo over the anticipated annexation plan, and that US officials met secretly with Palestinian officials in an attempt to organise a channel of dialogue between the Palestinian leadership and the White House.

However, no breakthrough was reported.

The Israeli government is planning to annex more than 30 percent of the West Bank, including the Jordan Valley. It also plans to impose sovereignty on several Israeli settlements in the territory.

Tension between the two sides has mounted after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that his annexation plan will be implemented on July 1.

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