Putin discusses with Abbas Israel’s illegal annexation plan – as Hamas & Hezbollah call for a united front

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Palestinians demonstrate in Ramallah city centre against the Israeli annexation plan

RUSSIAN President Vladimir Putin reaffirmed on Wednesday his country’s principal stance in support of solving the Palestinian question based on the international legal norms.

Speaking during a phone call with President Mahmoud Abbas, Putin and Abbas discussed the latest developments in the Palestinian arena, with particular focus on Israel’s illegal annexation move that has widely rejected.
Putin reiterated Russia’s ‘principal stance in support of a just and long-term solution of the Palestine-Israel conflict in accordance with the existing international legal base’.
He stressed the importance of reviving the negotiation process based on international legal norms, under the auspices of the Quartet and with the participation of other countries, and affirmed Russia’s readiness to continue its efforts to achieve intra-Palestinian reconciliation.
Regarding the spread of the novel coronavirus, Putin affirmed that his country has made great progress in curbing the pandemic spread, affirmed his country’s readiness to provide the possible assistance required to Palestine in this field, and appreciated the efforts made by Palestine in this regard.
President Abbas congratulated his Russian counterpart on the successful referendum on the constitutional amendments, which reflected the confidence of the Russian people in their wise leadership.
He praised Russia’s position supporting achieving peace based on the international legal norms, advocating the Palestinian people’s inalienable legitimate rights, including the right to independence and freedom, and rejecting Israel’s annexation move.
He expressed the readiness of the State of Palestine to engage in negotiations on the basis of the international legal norms, under the auspices of the International Quartet, and with the participation of other countries.
On intra-Palestinian reconciliation, President Abbas appreciated Russia’s important efforts to achieve Palestinian reconciliation, and called on Russia to pursue them.
He briefed President Putin on the Palestinian efforts to battle the second wave of the novel coronavirus, and expressed his appreciation of Russia’s efforts in combating the epidemic, and its assistance to Palestine in this field.
Both leaders agreed to continue coordination and consultation on issues of common concern and regional issues.

  • On Wednesday, Israel disconnected electricity supplies to 19 Palestinian villages and towns, located to the south west of the northern West Bank district of Jenin, said a municipal source.

Mayor of Yabad Amjad Atatra confirmed that Israeli occupation authorities disconnected power supplied to the franchise areas of Yabad Electricity Authority (YEA), impacting a population of 55,000 in 19 towns and villages purportedly over unpaid debts.
Atatra added that the power outage went into effect at 12pm and affirmed that the YEA and the municipality have all the required legal documents that refute Israeli allegations on unpaid debts.
Meanwhile, YEA Chairman Mohammad Abu Baker denied that YEA is indebted to the Israeli electricity supplier since YEA pays the electricity bill on a monthly basis as attested in the bank transfers.
He pointed out that the electricity cut is deliberately intended to force the heads of the local councils of the affected villages to circumvent the Palestinian Authority and establish contact with the Israeli authorities following the Palestinian leadership’s decision to cease all forms of coordination with Israel.

  • The Palestinian and Lebanese resistance movements, Hamas and Hezbollah, have censured Israel’s plan to annex large parts of the occupied West Bank as an act of ‘aggression against the Palestinian people’, calling for a united front against the US-backed land grab bid.

In a letter to Secretary General of Hezbollah Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on Monday, Ismail Haniyeh, the head of the political bureau of Hamas, highlighted the ‘grave dangers’ posed by Israel to the Palestinian cause, according to a statement by the Lebanese resistance group.
‘The Palestinian people are capable of confronting this plan,’ the statement said, calling on Arab and Muslim nations and ‘free people of the world to quickly move to stop the occupation’s continuous aggression against the Palestinian people’.
According to Lebanon’s al-Manar news website, the letter was handed by Hamas’ representative in Lebanon Ahmad Abdul Hadi and an accompanying delegation to Head of Hezbollah’s Palestinian File Hassan Hoballah.
The two sides reiterated their unified stance against the Israeli plot.
Hoballah reiterated Hezbollah’s support for the Palestinian struggles against Israel’s occupation, stressing that all the conspiracies against the Palestinian cause would be thwarted.
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had set July 1st as the date for starting the annexation plan’s implementation, but the move faced delays amid internal rifts and as Tel Aviv awaits a green light from Washington.
The contentious plan – which would allow Tel Aviv to annex about 30 per cent of the West Bank – is in accordance with a Middle East scheme drawn up by the administration of US President Donald Trump and unveiled in January on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
An adviser to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas warns of a third Intifada (uprising) if Israel implements its controversial plan to annex parts of the occupied territory.
The scheme – which Trump calls the ‘Deal of the Century’ – largely gives in to Israel’s demands while creating a Palestinian state with limited control over its own security and borders, enshrining the occupied Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s ‘capital’.
The US-backed annexation scheme has drawn international criticism and triggered waves of protest rallies around the globe.

  • On Monday, Indonesia’s government and House of Representatives also censured Israel’s plan to annex Palestinian territories.

‘President Joko Widodo fully supports our firm stance against the “Deal of the Century”, including the annexation of the West Bank by Israel,’ Mardani Ali Sera, Deputy Chairman of the Indonesian parliamentary body for Inter-Parliamentary Cooperation (BKSAP) told Turkey’s official Anadolu news agency.
More than 320 public figures from Latin America have called for sanctions on Israel over the regime’s contentious plans to annex large parts of the occupied West Bank.
Mardani said opposition to Trump’s so-called ‘peace’ plan had been announced in a joint statement between the House and Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi.
He added that the House and the Foreign Ministry would continue to work together to mobilise international support against the plan.
Mardani also proposed establishing a special unit under the Indonesian Foreign Ministry to encourage Palestinian independence.