Abbas slams Israeli Likud decision to annex settlements in West Bank

U.S. President Donald Trump shakes hands with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas White House in Washington D.C. U.S

Yousef al-Mahmoud called the resolution "an outrageous violation of the resolutions of worldwide legitimacy, especially the resolutions of the United Nations and the Security Council, as well as an irony and contempt for the entire UN system", the Palestinian Wafa news service reported.

Although the committee is only an advisory body, its decisions reflect the prevailing opinions in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's party.

Abbas also asserted that the Likud body would not have conducted the vote on annexing settlements, if it did not have "the absolute backing of the American administration that has refused to condemn Israeli colonial settlements".

He also urged the global community to take actions against Israeli "incitement against Palestinian rights". "Rather its main goal is the consolidation of an Apartheid regime in all of historic Palestine", Abbas remarked.

The State of Qatar has affirmed its total rejection of the decision of Israel's ruling Likud party to impose Israeli law on settlements in the West Bank and the occupied Jerusalem and their annexation to Israel. While the resolution is not binding on Likud lawmakers, it does carry weight as Likud Knesset members need the backing of Central Committee members to succeed in party primaries.

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Taking such a measure could effectively end hopes for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as there would be little area left for a Palestinian state.

Naftali Bennett, leader of the Jewish Home party, a senior member of the coalition, welcomed the decision, calling it another step on the way to "ridding ourselves of the unsafe notion of a Palestinian state".

"The Palestinian land that includes the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, foremost of which our eternal capital Jerusalem, is a land occupied by Israel along with other Arab territories, namely Sinai and the Golan, following the unfortunate aggression of 1967", Mahmoud noted referring to the Six Day War during which Israel gained control of the contested areas.

On Sunday, the Palestinian Authority announced it was recalling its envoy to Washington, Husam Zomlot, for consultations amid anger over Trump's declaration.

Defying Trump's threat to cut off funding, the United Nations approved by a resounding vote on December 21 a motion rejecting his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

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