Hamas today said US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman's remarks that Tel Aviv's plans to annex large swathes of the occupied West Bank have been "suspended not cancelled" exposes the lies of Arab states who have normalised ties with the occupation state.
In a statement Hamas spokesman, Abdel Latif Al-Qanoa, said: "Some Arab regimes manipulated Arab public opinion to normalise ties with the Israeli occupation."
"The US Ambassador to Israel David Freidman's confirmation that Israeli annexation plans had been postponed exposes the lies told by some Arab regimes who sought to normalisation ties with the Israeli occupation."
"These remarks expose the false justifications of Arab states that signed normalisation agreements with the Israeli occupation," he continued.
Speaking to Israeli media earlier today, Friedman said Israel's plan to annex some 30 per cent of the occupied West Bank and Jordan Valley has been suspended for at least one year – possibly longer – but emphasised that it has not been taken off the table.
"The words that we chose was to suspend the declaration of sovereignty," said Friedman.
"It means temporarily. It could take a year or two or more before we are back to that issue."
"We already made it clear that the issue has been postponed – that doesn't mean that it's cancelled," he said. "It just means that for the time being, it's on pause. For this year, it's not going to move forward, but later on, we'll see – it's not off the table."
Hamas' remarks come after the UAE signed a normalisation deal with Israel earlier this month, saying it had made the deal in an effort to stave off Tel Aviv's planned annexation of the occupied West Bank.