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Analysis

Tel Aviv Eyes Deal Of Century’s Resurrection Amid Pandemic Crisis

Saturday 18 April 2020
Tel Aviv Eyes Deal Of Century’s Resurrection Amid Pandemic Crisis

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Alwaght- Recently, Israeli media reports said the main parties in the occupied territories, Likud and Blue and White, have reached “understanding” on annexing parts of West Bank. 

Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper, citing informed sources, reported that senior Palestinian leaders and on top of them Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas have talked to Arab and foreign leaders over the weekend after they received information from some sides about the Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to annex the Israeli settlements in West Bank and Jordan Valley, known locally as Al-Aqwar, to the occupied territories. 

This comes while Ismail Haniyah, the head of Hamas political office, on Sunday talked to Moroccan Prime Minister Saadaddin al-Othmani over the phone and discussed Tel Aviv and an Israeli-American committee’s plan to annex parts of West Bank to the already-occupied territories. 

During the conversation, Haniyah pointed to the Israeli Judaization policy, settlement projects, mass crimes against Al-Quds (Jerusalem) residents, and discrimination against the city’s Arab and Palestinian citizens while coronavirus crisis is hitting. 

The Palestinian official called on the PM al-Othmani to pass his message to Moroccan King Mohammed VI, who currently chairs the Quds Committee of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, for fast action and cooperation with all sides to reveal the Israeli-American scheme against the Palestinian people. 

The Israeli plans to exploit the pandemic crisis were met by reactions from Ahmed Aboul Gheit, the Secretary-General of the Arab League. In reaction, Aboul Gheit sent messages of complaint to the UN chief Antonio Guterres, the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the French, Germany, British, Russian, and Chinese foreign ministers, as well as the European Union foreign policy head Josep Borrell. He also warned about the critical conditions of the Palestinians amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

According to Al-Ahad news, in the letter, Aboul Gheit warned about the “dangerous” Israeli approach, especially that of Likud party to take advantage of the coronavirus spread worldwide to increase settlement building and foist a new reality in Palestine, mainly in Eastern Al-Quds and its surrounding areas, on the Palestinians and the world. 

“The efforts made by the rightist Israeli party in the middle of the global combating of the coronavirus to adopt the plans for annexation of parts of West Bank especially the Jordan Valley are highly dangerous,” About Gheit said in his letter, adding that the Israeli policies put the already delicate and combustible situation to provocation and risk. 

The Mubarak-time Egyptian foreign minister told the UN Security Council members to do their best to dissuade Tel Aviv from going forward with risky policies to steer clear of deterioration of the situation for Palestinians living in West Bank and refugee camps. 

The diplomatic activism by the Palestinian groups to check the Israeli annexation plot come while some sources have reported recently that Netanyahu is striving to bring to the side of his plan the hardline right-wing parties in the occupied Palestinian territories, especially now that he has agreed to the formation of a Blue and White-led government headed by Benny Gantz. 

The sources, mainly cited by Israeli media, said that Netanyahu is seeking to add to the already-occupied territories the Israeli settlements and the Jordan Valley as an appeasement to the extremist rightist groups. This comes as he has conceded some ministerial positions to the White and Blue bloc. Reports said Gantz has agreed to the Netanyahu plan in return for political concessions and ministerial posts. 

Al-Alam news network reported that Netanyahu plans to issue thousands of licenses to the Israeli settlers to construct new apartments in West Bank lands. He will also issue warnings to the Palestinian families informing them of the seizure of their land, with the owners not given the right to complain amid the state of emergency declared to prevent the virus spread. At the same time, the Israeli regime will destroy more homes and farms of the Palestinians. 

So far, all of the Palestinian officials and groups have warned about the suspicious moves of the Israeli government in the middle of the COVID-19 global crisis. In one of the most important reactions, Abbas categorically opposed the all of partial annexation of the pre-1967 Palestinian territories, stressing that the Palestinian people and officials will not allow Tel Aviv to materialize this intention. 

“The Israeli plan violates the international resolutions and the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people. This dangerous and destructive yields no security and stability. 

Saeb Erekat, the chief of the Executive Committee of the Palestinian Liberation Organization who recently met with Aboul Gheit as well as the foreign ministers of Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Germany and talked the Israeli scheme with them, warned about the consequences of the territory annexation on the regional security and stability. 

Haniyah earlier had said that the Palestinian nation “will continue resistance, self-defense, and also the defense of Al-Quds and other occupied territories against the Israeli violations.” 

Due to long-term siege, the Palestinian people are suffering from health and hygiene problems. The UN envoy to West Asia affairs recently warned that the Palestinian Authority may collapse due to the financial crisis it is grappling with amid the pandemic. With these in mind, Tel Aviv seeks to seize the chance and ramp up the pressures on the Palestinians for the final goal of resurrecting the now dead “deal of the century” using the coronavirus crisis. 

The deal of the century, a Trump initiative meant to recognize the Israeli settlements strip the Palestinian refugee of their right to return home, failed to materialize despite the unwavering all-out White House support and now all of the Palestinian groups, mainly Hamas and Islamic Jihad, vow to not let it rise again. Naturally, any provocative measures by the Israeli regime will draw a tough response from the resistant Palestinian groups. Earlier, these groups in reaction to the Israeli takeover plans asserted their “full preparation” to go to a full-scale war against Tel Aviv. 

 

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Israeli Regime Annexation PLO Hamas Coronavirus

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