Palestinian Presidency Condemns Israeli Bill to Annex Maale Adumim

Spokesman for Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas Friday condemned recent news that Israel’s ultra-right Minister of Education from the Jewish Home party, Naftali Bennett plans to introduce a bill to the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, on Sunday to annex Maale Adumim, one of Israel’s largest illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank.

According to Israeli media, the bill is expected to be introduced just two days following the official inauguration of US President Donald Trump, when Israeli officials have publicly stated they will more easily advance plans to expand Israeli settlements and consolidate Israeli annexation of occupied East Jerusalem and other parts of the West Bank.

“Any Israeli decision regarding annexing the settlement of Ma’ale Adumim will be looked at as dangerous escalation and will not be accepted,” Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesman for Abbas was quoted by Palestinian news agency Wafa as saying.

“This step will end any connection to any peace process, particularly if it is accompanied by moving the US embassy to Jerusalem,” said Abu Rudeineh. “This measure will lead to a new phase that cannot be controlled.”

The fate of Jerusalem has been a focal point of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for decades, with numerous tensions arising over Israeli threats regarding the status of non-Jewish religious sites in the city, and the “Judaization” of East Jerusalem through settlement construction and mass demolitions of Palestinian homes.

Trump’s campaign promise of moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem has been met with applause by right-wing Israeli officials and strongly condemned by Palestinians and the international community.

“We again warn against any step that violates United Nations resolutions, particularly the recent Security Council resolution which considered settlements illegitimate in all the territories occupied in 1967, including East Jerusalem” Rudeineh said, referring to an anti-settlement resolution that passed in the UNSC last month, sparking outrage among Israeli officials.

“If Israel crosses this red line, then all red lines will be ruptured,” he added. “There will be no peace and no stability without the creation of an independent (Palestinian) state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.”

Maale Adumim is the third largest settlement in population size, encompassing a large swath of land deep inside the occupied West Bank. Many Israelis consider it an Israeli suburban city of Jerusalem, despite it being located on occupied Palestinian territory in contravention of international law.

(Ma’an, PC, Social Media)

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