Israeli plans to annex parts of the West Bank pose an “existential threat,” Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said Tuesday.
“It is a serious violation of all agreements,” he told reporters at a press conference in Ramallah, adding that annexation would be a “total breach of international law” and a “threat to regional security“.
His comments come less than a month before Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could bring proposals on annexation before the Israeli cabinet or parliament for a vote.
The planned annexation of Jewish settlements and the Jordan Valley is part of US President Donald Trump‘s Middle East plan.
The plan, released in late January, was widely criticized, and Palestinians have rejected it out of fear it will recognize Israeli claims to parts of the West Bank that they want for a future state.
“Israel has systematically destroyed the pillars of a future Palestinian state,” Shtayyeh charged, also accusing the country of killing any potential peace agreement.
Shtayyeh addressed a Wednesday visit to Israel by German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, who is expected to warn Netanyahu against annexation.
“We know the history of the legacy of German-Jewish relations. We know how sensitive this issue is,” the Palestinian leader said. “But this should not come at the expense of Palestinian rights.”
Maas will not visit Ramallah due to the “complicated circumstances” presented by the coronavirus pandemic, a German Foreign Office spokesman said on Monday.
Shtayyeh, however, said that Israel “is not allowing” Maas to visit Ramallah and “this is not a good sign.”
Maas is scheduled to hold video talks with Shtayyeh while in Jordan on the second leg of his trip.