‘The Path of Negotiations Has Failed.’ Where Annexation Leaves Palestinians

‘The Path of Negotiations Has Failed.’ Where Annexation Leaves Palestinians
Palestinians run from tear gas fired by Israeli soldiers during a protest against Israel’s plan to annex parts of the West Bank, in the village of Qusin near Nablus, June 5, 2020 (AP photo by Majdi Mohammed).

July 1 is an ominous day for Palestinians, when Israel’s occupation of the West Bank is set to leap forward into formal annexation. Earlier this year, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held onto his office by forging a power-sharing agreement with his political rival, Benny Gantz, that gave him the authority he needed to deliver on his biggest campaign promise: unilaterally annexing Israel’s settlements in the West Bank as soon as next month.

The plans for annexation prompted a reckoning in Ramallah, where President Mahmoud Abbas announced last month that the Palestinian Authority would no longer coordinate with Israel on security or adhere to any existing agreements going back to the Oslo Accords. “The Palestine Liberation Organization and the State of Palestine are absolved, as of today, of all the agreements and understandings with the American and Israeli governments, and of all the obligations based on these understandings and agreements, including the security ones,” Abbas declared at an emergency meeting.

In some ways, the United States, under President Donald Trump, paved the way for this moment. In 2018, Trump announced that the U.S. would recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move its embassy there from Tel Aviv. That decision countered decades of formal U.S. policy that had recognized both Israeli and Palestinian claims to Jerusalem, which was supposed to be a shared capital in the two-state solution set in motion by the Oslo peace process. The Trump administration has also cut hundreds of millions of dollars in humanitarian aid to Palestinians; recognized Israeli sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights, which Israel seized from Syria after the 1967 war; and put forward a long-awaited and highly controversial new peace plan, if it can really be called that. Unveiled in February and billed by the Trump White House as the “deal of the century,” it favored Israel far more openly than any past American proposal, allowing it to annex all its settlements in the West Bank as well as the Jordan Valley, leaving the Palestinians with barely a state at all. Senior U.S. officials have since said that Israel is free to decide whether to move ahead with annexation, effectively giving it the green light.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.

More World Politics Review