PA Calls for ‘Day of Rage’ Over U.S. Territory Policy Reversal

Arab rioters clash with Israeli security forces at demonstrations near the Hawara checkpoint, south of Shechem, in 2018. (Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90)

Tuesday will be a “day of rage” in the Palestinian Authority, with violent riots expected throughout the day. Mass demonstrations will be held to protest the change of policy by the United States over the legality of Israeli communities in Yehudah and Shomron, the PA said. Demonstrations will be held especially at “stress points,” such as at checkpoints, where IDF soldiers are expected to confront rioters, the PA announcement said.

In order to ensure that crowds gather, school will end at 11:30 a.m. in PA-controlled areas, and several business groups called on business owners to either end their workday early or not open altogether. Yediot Acharonot quoted a PA official as saying that “if these demonstrations end with Palestinians killed, tensions will rise and the security situation may deteriorate.”

Last week, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reversed a policy that had been proclaimed by the State Department decades ago, saying that the U.S. would no longer view Jewish towns in Yehudah and Shomron as illegal. “Calling the establishment of civilian settlements inconsistent with international law has not advanced the cause of peace,” Pompeo said. “The hard truth is that there will never be a judicial resolution to the conflict, and arguments about who is right and who is wrong as a matter of international law will not bring peace. The establishment of Israeli civilian settlements in the West Bank is not, per se, inconsistent with international law.”

In response, the PA slammed the announcement, saying that it “contradicts totally with international law.” Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas said that U.S. President Donald Trump’s “deal of the century” peace plan is “dead. We said all along that the deal of the century had no basis in reality.”

“After the comments by Pompeo, it is now lifeless. The Americans have no right to contradict decisions made by international bodies,” such as the United Nations, Abbas said.

PA spokesman Nabil Abu Rdeneh said that “the U.S. administration has lost its credibility to play any future role in the peace process.” PA negotiator Saeb Erekat called it “irresponsible.” And the PA foreign minister said that “we warn of the danger in the change of the American stance regarding the settlements, and the impact it will have on efforts to achieve peace.”

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