The Palestinian Authority (PA) has praised Saudi Arabia for rejecting Israel’s plans to annex parts of the occupied West Bank, signalling reconciliatory relations between the two.
A statement issued by PA President Mahmoud Abbas’ office yesterday said Saudi Arabia “reaffirmed today their unwavering positions toward the Palestinian issue, rejecting in a statement Israel’s plans to annex large parts of the occupied West Bank.”
Last month the kingdom said it “denounces any unilateral actions, and any violations of internationally sanctioned resolutions or any measures that might undermine the chances of resuming the peace process to achieve security and stability in the region.”
According to the Gulf monarchy, its position on the annexation plans adds to its steadfast stance towards the Palestinian people, adding that it has consistently stood by the them and supported their choices and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
Saudi Arabia’s condemnation of the new Israeli coalition government’s annexation plan comes in stark contradiction to its warming relations with Israel over the past few years, and particularly its support for the so-called ‘peace plan’ put forward by US President Donald Trump’s administration earlier this year, which was a prime factor in pushing forward the annexation plans.
Under that deal, Israel would claim sovereignty over 30 per cent of the Palestinian territories in the West Bank, particularly the illegal Jewish settlements and the strategic Jordan Valley, in exchange for more Palestinian economic participation. It was revealed today, however, that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would implement the annexation in a step-by-step method, with three areas first being annexed.