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Palestine’s rival factions unite to face Israeli annexation plan

CAIRO – 2 July 2020: Palestine’s rival factions Fatah and Hamas held a rare meeting via video on Thursday to announce a new stage of joint national work to face Israel’s internationally-condemned annexation plan on the occupied West Bank.
Fatah official Jibril Rajub and Hamas official Saleh El Arouri took part in the meeting.
In a sign of consensus, Rajub said the two factions will today agree to speak in one voice and under one flag, the Palestinian flag, to build a strategic vision, as an entitlement to face the challenges. He added that the purpose of the two factions will be a complete and sovereign Palestinian state.
Rajub said the two factions will also agree on mechanisms to hold a general election whose results will be respected.
“I invite all Fatah’s [people] inside, diaspora and in prison to turn the page,” Rajub added.
Arouri, for his part, said the conference is an opportunity to have a fresh start that would strategically serve the Palestinian people in one of the most dangerous stages, adding that in case Israel annexes a part of the West Bank, this will lead to further annexation.
He denounced the annexation plan, saying it cancels the political step of the two-state solution, as it will not allow any establishment of a Palestinian state on the West Bank and Gaza.
In May, Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Abul Gheit received a message from High Representative of the European Union (EU) for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell voicing EU opposition of Israeli annexation of Palestinian lands.
In a press statement, a source at the pan-Arab league said the European official reiterated the union's firm rejection of Israeli annexation of Palestinian lands in 1967, adding that the EU does not recognize Israel's sovereignty on the occupied West Bank.
He noted that Israeli policies in this regard constitute a flagrant violation of the international law.
The message comes in response to a message sent by the pan-Arab body's secretary-general to Borrell updating the European official on the serious implications of the Israeli schemes, along with their adverse impact on regional security, according to the source.
Facing up to the Israeli violations tops the AL agenda at the current juncture, the source said, citing the AL secretary general's efforts to mobilize the support of the Palestinian stand.
Abul Gheit underscored that the international community should shoulder responsibility in this regard and warned of the negative consequences of Israeli policies on regional security and stability, the source said.