Palestinians Would Declare Statehood If Israel Attempts Annexation

PA has been offering counter-proposals to US annexation plan

PA officials say that the Palestinians will unilaterally declare independent statehood over the Israeli-occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip as a last-ditch effort if the Israelis move forward with a planned annexation of the West Bank.

The Netanyahu government intends to annex the West Bank as part of President Trump’s peace plan. The plan offered some minor concessions to the Palestinians in return, though since the Palestinians rejected the US plan, the Trump Administration has encouraged Israel to annex and won’t give the Palestinians anything.

The PA now says they’ve been pushing counter-proposals, sent to the US and to the Mideast Quartet. This would create a sovereign but demilitarized Palestinian state as part of the deal. There is no word on a reaction, but Israel has in generally opposed Palestinian statehood on any terms, and the US has generally backed whatever Israel prefers.

A demilitarized state neighboring Israel would be suboptimal for the Palestinians, given how large the Israeli military is, and how often they invade Palestinian areas. Officials, however, may believe this is better than nothing, and certainly better than just letting Israel annex all the land, deny the Palestinians citizenship, and relegate them to a permanently occupied status.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.