Saudi Cabinet affirms Palestinian cause will remain 'central issue' for Arab states

It came after an emergency Arab League meeting that condemned Israeli plans to annex Palestinian land

epa08403763 Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas heads the Palestinian leadership meeting at his headquarters, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, 05 May 2020.  EPA/Nasser Nasser / POOL
Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

Saudi Arabia's Cabinet on Tuesday affirmed the Palestinian cause will remain a "central issue" for Arabs and Muslims, according to a statement issued by the Saudi news agency.

The Cabinet also reviewed the results of the emergency Arab League meeting, which condemned the Israeli authorities plans to annex any Palestinian land, the agency said on Wednesday.

The Palestinians have threatened to annul peace agreements if Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu moved ahead with his plan.

The EU and the UN have also expressed strong opposition.

US officials say Washington is prepared to recognise Israeli action to extend its sovereignty over parts of the occupied West Bank.

The Arab foreign ministers' meeting said Israel was taking advantage of the world’s preoccupation with the coronavirus pandemic to push ahead with its annexation plan.

The meeting's communique said it amounted to a “new war crime to be added to Israel’s rich track record of horrific crimes against the Palestinians".

It urged the US to withdraw its support for the annexation plan and abide by UN resolutions on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

The UAE condemned Israel's plan to annex large areas of the occupied West Bank during the emergency Arab League session attended by the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr Anwar Gargash.

The meeting on Thursday was held at the request of the Palestinian Authority and conducted by video to observe rules of social distancing brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

The annexation plan "is a dangerous development that would undermine international efforts to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict", the UAE said.

Israel's action is "unacceptable, violates international law and impedes the peace process", it said.

The UAE warned of "dangerous repercussions" and said the move could "fuel" extremism, and terrorism in the region".

On Thursday, Jordan joined other Arab countries in condemning Mr Netanyahu's plan to annex large parts of the occupied West Bank, including Israel settlements and the strategic Jordan Valley. The annexation plan, which would extinguish Palestinian hopes of establishing an independent state that includes all of the West Bank, has drawn widespread international opposition.

Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said annexation "would kill a two-state solution, undermine the foundations of the peace process and set off the conflict".