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  • A Palestinian flag overlooking an Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank.

    A Palestinian flag overlooking an Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank. | Photo: AFP

Published 4 June 2020
Opinion

Vehement rhetoric from Palestinian officials reflects a high degree of concern that Israel will effectively proceed with U.S. President Donald Trump’s so-called "deal of the century."

The Palestinian Authority (PA) said Wednesday that it would no longer accept tax monies that Israel collects for it after previously announcing that Palestinian security cooperation with Israel would end, The Media Line reported Thursday.

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The tax revenues, around US$190m, are the primary source of income for the PA, accounting for more than half its budget.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas’ religious affairs adviser, Mahmoud al-Habash, also warned that if Israel goes ahead with its plan to annex Israeli illegal settlements and the Jordan Valley, the Palestinian reaction will be an “earthquake” for which “Israel will have to bear the consequences.”

Vehement rhetoric from Palestinian officials reflects their high degree of concern that Israel will effectively proceed with U.S. President Donald Trump’s so-called “deal of the century,”  which the Palestinians have rejected.

“Our struggle will continue, and our people will thwart Israeli plans,” Habash said. “Each action has an equal and opposite reaction. No one expects the Palestinian people to be exposed to aggression and not respond.”

“We have declared more than once that we will resist the occupation by all legitimate, possible and available means, including popular resistance, and work on the international stage politically and legally against the Israeli occupation.”

Abbas announced last month that the PA would no longer uphold its part of the agreements signed with Israel and the U.S. because of Israeli annexation plans.

“The Palestine Liberation Organization [PLO] and the State of Palestine are no longer bound, as of today, by any of the agreements and understandings with the American and Israeli governments and by any of the commitments based on these understandings and agreements, including security,” Abbas said in a televised speech.

Trump’s “deal of the century” lets Israel impose sovereignty all the way to Jordan while Palestinians are granted a disjointed and demilitarised entity. The Palestinian state's capital would be on the outskirts of Jerusalem, the disputed city that would remain fully under Israeli sovereignty.

Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu had announced that on July 1 he would start the plan's implementation.

However, there have been recent reports that U.S. officials are asking him to slow the process as the U.S. struggles to contain the coronavirus outbreak and faces nationwide protests over the death of an unarmed black man, George Floyd, in Minneapolis.

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