Palestinians in both the West Bank and Gaza Strip decried, on Monday, the latest Israeli consensus over annexation of the occupied Palestinian West Bank to the occupation state of Israel.

Palestinian Prime Minister, Mohammad Shtayyeh, reacted to the Israeli announcement by saying “Forming an annexation cabinet would literally mean blocking a two-state solution and dismembering the Palestinian people. This comes in violation of international law and other relevant international resolutions”.

Top Palestinian peace negotiator, Saeb Erekat, called on the international community, including key players to curb Israel’s plans to annex the occupied West Bank, within the provisions of international law and relevant United Nations’ resolutions. Erekat dubbed an Israeli unity government deal a threat to prospects of peace in the region.

Those remarks came shortly after both Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu of the Likud rightist party and his rival Benny Gantz of the White and Blue party, reportedly signed a unity government agreement that puts to an end the eighteen months of disparity over forming a unity cabinet.

Both Israeli leaders agreed that Israel would embark on a long-pending move of annexing the occupied Palestinian West Bank to the boundaries of the state of Israel by July of this year. This would result in the hi-jacking of Palestinian sovereignty over the internationally-recognized occupied West Bank.

Meanwhile, influential Palestinian figure and head of the National Palestinian Initiative Party, Mustafa Barghouti, described the newly formed Netanyahu-Gantz unity government as a government of occupation, annexation, racism and judaization.

Barghouti said in a statement, released shortly after the announcement, that both Netanyahu and Gantz are leading an ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people.

He also maintained that the two Israeli parties, the rightist Likud and the White and Blue, are two faces of the same coin, warning of what he believes is the creation, by Israel, of the worst Apartheid regime in history that would also badly affect citizenship rights of Palestinian-Arab residents, who live inside Israel.

In the Gaza Strip, spokesperson for the ruling Islamist Hamas party, Fawzi Barhoum, echoed the same reaction by Barghouti, addressing all those who still believe in peace with what he termed, the apartheid state of Israel.

He urged them all to drop such a peace option, before it is too late.

For its part, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), described the newly-formed Israeli unity government as a government of war and hatred against the Palestinian people and their national inalienable rights.

The Palestinian West Bank, which Israel refers to as ‘Judea and Samaria’, has been subject to an Israeli military occupation since 1967. Shortly after Israel occupied it, United Nations’ Security Council, demanded that Israel withdraw from the area immediately.

Palestinians and Israelis agreed in 1993 to an autonomous rule in both Gaza and West Bank, where Palestinians began maintaining an autonomy rule on parts of the West Bank. Since the Oslo Peace Accords were signed, Israel has accelerated illegal colonial settlement construction, with hundreds of illegal colonies now erected on Palestinian-owned lands.

Israel’s move to annex the occupied West Bank has reportedly been reinforced by means of United States unwavering support for Israel.

This cooperation reached its climax in January 2020, when the current US administration of President, Donald Trump, announced the so-called ‘deal of the century’, which Palestinians everywhere rejected vehemently.

The Trump and Kushner so called ‘peace plan’ offers Palestinians only very small, disconnected portions of the West Bank for the Palestinians to be awarded a state of their own.

Image: Palestine News Network