Palestine seeks int’l coalition against Israel annexation plan

RAMALLAH, July 25, 2019 (Xinhua) — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas speaks during a meeting of the Palestinian leadership in the West Bank city of Ramallah, on July 25, 2019. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday declared that the Palestinian leadership has decided to stop abiding by the signed agreements between Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Israel, in line with former decisions taken by Palestinian National and Central Councils. (Str/Xinhua/IANS)

Ramallah, July 6 (IANS) Palestine has said that it was seeking to build an international coalition to block the Israel’s annexation plan of the West Bank through diplomatic efforts worldwide.

Saeb Erekat, secretary-general of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), said Palestine has been mobilizing efforts with several countries within the UN General Assembly in order to establish an international coalition against the Israeli plan, reports Xinhua news agency.

Erekat told the official Voice of Palestine radio that the coalition will aim to hold Israel accountable if it presses ahead with its annexation plan.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has been in contact with world leaders over the consequences of the Israeli annexation plan and the aftermath of Palestine’s decision to abolish all agreements with Israel and the US, according to Erekat.

“Under the annexation plan, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin wants to turn the Palestinian Authority into a service provider and an instrument for the perpetuation and continuation of the occupation,” Erekat noted.

Netanyahu’s government has said that it could start annexing the Jordan Valley, which makes up some 30 per cent of the West Bank, as early as July.

The territory was seized by Israel during the 1967 Middle East war.

The Palestinians, who claim all of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, have rejected the idea.

More than 600,000 Jews live in about 140 settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

It however, remains unclear whether the Israeli government will follow through with its plan to apply Israeli law over disputed territories in the West Bank and to what extent.

About $250 billion in investment is expected from the private sector, with the same amount generated by increased economic activity from population growth, finance and banking, cultural and desert tourism, and leisure events.

“We must also ensure the growth is managed properly, so there will be a focus on transport and logistics, including the Riyadh metro which will open at the beginning of next year. The aim is to increase productivity,” Al-Rasheed said.

The plan involves the creation of a “mega industrial zone” focusing on advanced technology such as renewables and automation, and biotechnology and aquaponics. Another key feature is sustainability, with energy conservation, the circular carbon economy with its emphasis on reducing emissions, and water management, all priorities.

“You will see 7 million trees planted in Riyadh in the next few years, and King Salman Park will be bigger than Hyde Park in London,” Al-Rasheed said.

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