Monday, June 1, 2020 — The Popular Conference for Palestinians Abroad (PCPA) launched a campaign titled: “Down with Annexation,” which seeks to challenge the Israeli planned annexation of Jordan Valley and territories in the occupied West Bank.
During a conference held via ZOOM, PCPA announced the campaign in the presence of Arab and Palestinian personalities, while the online meeting was moderated by journalist Rawan Damen.
Hisham Abu Mahfouz, PCPA’s Secretary-General, disclosed the details of the campaign in his conference statement, stressing that the Israeli Occupation is taking advantage of the world’s preoccupation with the COVID-19 outbreak and is willing to impose its authority on the Palestinian territories through keeping up with its Judaization and settlement policies in the West Bank and the occupied city of Jerusalem (al-Quds).
He added that of the latest policies, the Occupation adopted, is the resolution to annex the Jordan Valley and territories in the occupied West Bank, through turning it into a legislation within a circle of decision-makers, operating inside the Israeli entity.
He accentuated the importance of investing efforts to challenge that policy, necessitating a unity between Palestinian, Arab and Islamic action, as to force the Israeli Occupation into missing the opportunity to implement its settlement projects, to end the occupation and help the refugees return.
Abu Mahfouz, thus, declared the start of the political and media campaign of “Down with the Annexation’s Resolution,” highlighting its key goals, as follows: “Challenging the Zionist policies, blocking the means to the Occupation’s expansion in occupied Palestine, defending the West Bank, and every piece of Palestinian and Arab land, as well as resisting the accelerating annexation policy and the occupation infiltration.”
On PCPA’s behalf, he praised the positions rejecting the Occupation’s decisions and policies, calling for the development of a unified Palestinian strategy to thwart the Zionist policies, that the Palestinian Authority actually end the Oslo agreement and stop security coordination with the occupation, as well as that it comply with the choice of the Palestinian people to resist the Occupation.
For his part, Political Sciences’ Professor Abdul-Sattar Kassem emphasized that the national environment in the West Bank is not fit for restoring any of the inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people, attributing this to several reasons, the most prominent of which is that "the Palestinian national culture has retreated and led to a retreat of the Palestinian cause in the hearts of the Palestinian people themselves.”
He explained that the Judaization policy has existed since 1948 and it is not a new policy, pointing to the need for a new leadership for the Palestinian people that would enable it to stop the Occupation's policies of Judaization and settlement.
Kassem called for the rebuilding of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) on a unified basis, shared by all Palestinian segments, stressing the importance of drafting a new national pact that reflects the aspirations and hopes of the Palestinian people.
Summing up the Jordanian position of the annexation’s resolution, a member of the Palestine Committee in the Jordanian Parliament, Representative Saud Abu Mahfouz, stated that the Jordan Valley, which the occupation seeks to annex to its settlements, extends over an area of more than a million dunums and constitutes a major food resource to Jordan, adding that its annexation would effect an existential threat.
He explained that Jordan has a clear position and that it is not an isolated or weak country, as it possesses the means of independent, regional and international power.
Of the points of strength that Jordan possesses, Abu Mahfouz mentioned that Jordan has an embassy in "Tel Aviv" and can pressure the Occupation by withdrawing the ambassador, and that it has a position of support within the European Union, not to mention that it can resort to the General Assembly of the United Nations, pointing out that if the Zionist Occupation is to place a million settlers in Jordan Valley, the situation would pose an existential threat to Jordan.
He emphasized that Jordan was pursuing a policy of leniency with the Occupation, but if the situation turns into an existential threat, it would resort to what he described as rough messages.
On the other hand, PCPA’s Spokesperson Dr. Ahmad Muhaisen, said: "To get out of the current stalemate, stifling the Palestinian cause, we in the diaspora must move utilizing available resources, without opposing the international laws that we are allowed to use to defend the Palestinian cause.”
He added that they are starting with their role in mobilizing public opinion and communicating with international institutions against the Occupation, in addition to governments, international bodies and parliaments to gain more votes to support the Palestinian cause and expose the Occupation’s reality.
He necessitated holding a comprehensive Palestinian conference to formulate a Palestinian project and a clear and integral Palestinian strategic vision, with the participation of all Palestinians.
Muhaisen stressed that the annexation policy means writing off the Palestinian cause, demanding the formulation a parallel Jordanian-Palestinian confrontation plan.
In a reading of the scene, a member of the General Secretariat and director of the Al-Zaytouna Centre for Studies and Consultations, Dr. Mohsen Saleh believes that the Zionist Occupation no longer cares about the Palestinian Authority and that it has turned it into a functional authority that serves its purposes.
Saleh noted that the Palestinian Authority, in a former statement, committed itself to the two-state solution and that is still with fighting terrorism, adding that it had sent a message to the Occupation that it would not allow an uprising in the West Bank.
He made it clear that when the Authority broke away from Oslo, it announced to the world that it is still in the field of a peaceful settlement.
Saleh called on the Palestinian Authority to take a set of measures to rebuild confidence, the most important of which is "stopping security coordination, inviting the unified leadership framework for the Palestinian people to meet, stopping sanctions imposed on Gaza Strip, allowing for freedoms in the West Bank, and activating the Palestinian people outside Palestine.”
During the conference, Dr. Ahmed Atawna, director of the Vision Center for Political Development, made a statement on the annexation project and its relationship to the “Deal of the Century,” indicating that the annexation decision comes in a practical context to implement the deal and that the Occupation wants to invest the current situation and American support in achieving this.
Atawna affirmed that the annexation decision intersects with the vision of the American administration, represented by the “Deal of the Century,” and considered this an end to the negotiation process and what is known as a two-state solution.
At the end of the press conference, media activist Amjad Abu Seedo from Brazil stressed the necessity of ordering the Palestinian household, so that the Palestinian people can face Israeli decisions.
Abu Seedo pointed out to Brazil’s role in the Latin continent in supporting the Israeli Occupation. He also called for the Palestinian community in the continent to expose the Occupation and its crimes against the Palestinian people and increase solidarity with Palestine.