The acting Palestinian Authority (PA) chief says Israel’s plan to deploy troops inside a future Palestinian state is no different than its current occupation of Palestinian territories.
Mahmoud Abbas said that he would not allow any Israeli soldiers or even NATO forces to be deployed in a future Palestinian state.
The PA will “collapse if Israel insists on its stance,” he told AFP on Sunday.
He made the remarks after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tel Aviv must be able to maintain troops along the West Bank’s border with Jordan for the next 40 years to secure it.
Abbas said he told Netanyahu last September that such a troop presence would torpedo the possibility of an independent Palestinian state, and would effectively destroy the PA.
“If he wants to stay for 40 years, it means that it is an occupation, so he will keep his occupation,” the acting PA chief said.
Early this year, Netanyahu had stressed that his troops could not withdraw from the border between the West Bank and Jordan entirely.
Palestinian leaders are determined to proclaim their own state before September.
Upon the move, Palestinian refugees will have the right to settle in the territory of the new Palestinian state. They will also have the option of claiming compensation for their properties confiscated or destroyed by the Israelis.