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Palestinian leader Abbas announces end to agreements with Israel and US

Palestinian Authority ends understandings, including security agreements, as a result of Israel's intent to annex parts of West Bank
Abbas has made multiple previous threats to end security cooperation with Israel without ultimately following through (AFP)

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced on Tuesday an end to all agreements and understandings with Israel and the United States, including security agreements, as a result of Israel's intent to annex parts of the West Bank.

Abbas said the Palestinian government was "absolved, as of today, of all the agreements and understandings with the American and Israeli governments and of all the obligations based on these understandings and agreements, including the security ones".

Speaking after an emergency meeting of the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah, the 85-year-old leader said Israeli annexation of any parts of the occupied West Bank would ruin chances for a two-state solution.

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"The Israeli occupation authority, as of today, has to shoulder all responsibilities and obligations in front of the international community as an occupying power over the territory of the occupied state of Palestine, with all its consequences and repercussions," said Abbas.

Abbas has made multiple previous threats to end security cooperation with Israel without ultimately following through. 

He did not give any details about what his latest declaration would mean in practice, AFP said.

Palestinian sources told the Israeli newspaper Haaretz that despite Abbas' declaration coordination with Israel continues. 

A Palestinian official who attended the meeting said Abbas intends to stop coordination, but had not yet "closed the door". 

He told Haaretz the security forces may lower the level of engagement with their counterparts in Israel, but it is not yet possible to determine that coordination will be completely stopped.

Biden criticises annexation

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday swore in a new unity government with former rival Benny Gantz.

Under the coalition agreement from July the government can discuss annexing parts of the West Bank.

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Netanyahu campaigned in a March election on annexing both the Jordan Valley, a key strategic area in the West Bank, as well as settlements dotted throughout the territory.

On Tuesday, Joe Biden said Israel's annexation of Palestinian territories would "choke off any hope of peace," but renewed his pledge to unconditionally continue US military aid to Israel if elected president.

Speaking to Jewish American supporters at a virtual fundraiser on Tuesday, the presumptive Democratic nominee vowed to reverse US President Donald Trump's "undercutting of peace" and resume aid to Palestinians.

"Israel needs to stop the threats of annexation and stop settlement activity because it will choke off any hope of peace," he said.

Abbas last week said any annexation would lead them to rip up all agreements.