Abbas says PA no longer to abide by accords with Israel, US

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says the Palestinian Authority will no longer be committed to any agreement signed with Israel or the United States, after Israel's commitment to annex much of the occupied West Bank.

It was not immediately clear how the announcement, which was made at a Palestinian leadership meeting on Tuesday night, would be implemented. The Oslo agreements and other agreements in the 1990s created the Palestinian Authority and governed its political, economic and security relations with Israel.

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"The Palestinian Liberation Organization and the State of Palestine are no longer committed to all agreements and understandings signed with the Israeli government and the American government, including security commitments," said Abbas.

He said Israel would now have to "take responsibility for the international community as an occupying power".

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to annex the Jewish and Jordan valley settlements in the West Bank, according to President Donald Trump's plan in the Middle East, which overwhelmingly favors Israel and has been rejected by the Palestinians.

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Netanyahu formed a new Israeli government earlier this month with his main rival, Benny Gantz, after three elections and more than a year of stalemate. The coalition agreement allows Netanyahu to submit an annexation proposal to the government from July 1.

Israel captured the West Bank, along with East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, in the 1967 war. Palestinians want the three territories for their future state, but Trump's plan would leave them with scattered groups of enclaves surrounded by Israel.

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Most of the international community is opposed to annexation, which many fear will prevent the creation of a viable Palestinian state. The two-state solution is still widely seen as the only way to resolve the decades-long conflict.

It is unclear to what extent the Palestinian leadership will move forward in the last announcement. The security coordination serves the interests of Abbas and Israel because it is mainly aimed at the Islamic militant group Hamas, its main rival.

The Palestinian Authority governs and provides basic services to the populated areas of the occupied West Bank. Dismantling it would risk chaos and leave tens of thousands of civil servants unemployed. But when referring to the "state of Palestine", Abbas seemed to leave room to continue in its current form under a different and contested name.

Abbas has always opposed violence, which means that Palestinian security forces would likely continue to act against any armed group, even without formal coordination with Israel.

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