NEW YORK - It is the “moment of truth” for the international community to stand behind Palestians in the face of the intended annexation of a large portion of their land by Israel, Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh said Monday. “Now that the Israeli government has loud and clear and explicitly stated that they are going to annex certain parts of Palestine, no country has an excuse not to stand [against] this injustice,” Shtayyeh told a virtual meeting of the U.N. committee that deals with Palestinian rights.
He urged the international community to impose sanctions on Israel if it carries out its annexation plans, and to bilaterally recognize Palestine as a state. Palestine holds only nonmember observer state status at the United Nations. “That should be the most serious reply to what Israel is intending to do,” he said.
U.N. Security Council Resolution 2334, adopted in 2016, prohibits altering the demographic composition of Palestinian territory and calls for the freezing of Israeli settlement expansion, which it deems illegal under international law.
Shtayyeh said the Palestinian leadership will meet Tuesday night to discuss their next steps.
After three elections and a year of unprecedented political upheaval, Israel swore in a new unity government Sunday. Incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will remain in his job for 18 months. The head of the centrist Blue and White party, Benny Gantz, will be “alternate prime minister.” Then they will swap jobs.
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