In a dramatic announcement designed to grab global attention, the Palestinian prime minister has vowed that he will declare independence for Palestine if Israel follows through on its threat to annex parts of the Palestinian Territories.
Speaking from his office in Ramallah to an audience of foreign media organisations, including Sky News, Mohammad Shtayyeh said that the Palestinian Authority would unilaterally declare an independent state along the 1967 partitions, with Jerusalem as its capital.
“If Israel is going to annex after July 1st, we are going to go from the interim period of the Palestinian Authority into the manifestation of a state on the ground. That is where we will be heading in the next phase. This authority cannot continue to be an authority without any authority,” Mr Shtayyeh said.
“What does the manifestation of the state on the ground mean? It means that there will be a founding council, there will be a constitutional declaration, and Palestine will be on the borders of ’67 with Jerusalem as its capital and we will call our international community to recognise this fact.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly threatened to apply Israeli sovereignty to Israeli-Jewish settlements which are within the geographical area of the West Bank.
More than 700,000 Israeli Jews now live in settlements, ranging from small village outposts to large city-like developments, on land allocated to Palestinians as part of the Oslo Peace Accords in 1993. The settlements are illegal under international law.
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