International Community Joins Palestinian Anti-Annexation Protest

YERUSHALAYIM -
Demonstrators take part in a rally, organized by the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) to protest against Israel’s annexation plans, Monday in Jericho. (Reuters/Mohamad Torokman)

Representatives from the United Nations, the European Union, Russia, Japan and China attended a Fatah rally held in Jericho to protest Israeli plans for annexation in Yehudah and Shomron.

Thousands of Palestinians turned out to hear the speakers denounce the Israeli initiative, being advanced under the U.S. peace plan.

United Nations Mideast envoy Nikolay Mladenov, sounding more like a Fatah activist than a diplomat, told the crowd that annexation “would kill the dream of peace.”

“You’re not renting a house here, this is your home. You do not throw away the keys to something that you have been building for 25 years. You protect it and you invest in the future, a future that is built on shared values of democracy, accountability and prosperity for everyone,” Mladenov said.

“People of Palestine — never give up, never give up, never give up, “because peace is what we’re all for,” he concluded his speech.

Jordanian Consul to Palestine Mohammad Abu Wandi pledged that Jordan will continue making “all possible efforts” to prevent annexation. “Preventing annexation is protecting peace,” Abu Wanadi said.

Russian Ambassador to Palestine Gocha Buachidze said that “Russia sees that the only solution is an agreed upon settlement on the basis of the two-state principle. We need an urgent resumption of negotiations between the two parties under U.N. mediation.”

Senior Palestinian leaders attended, including Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh, PLO Chief Negotiator Saeb Erekat, and others

The official Palestinian WAFA news site said the IDF shut down two checkpoints and blocked dozens of buses carrying people wanting to join the protest.

Four Palestinians were injured after being hit by rubber-tipped bullets fired by Israeli troops at the Jordan Valley’s Hamra Junction, the Palestinian Red Crescent reported.

IDF soldiers operating near the village of Deir Abu Masha’al opened fire at a pair of Palestinians attempting to hurl Molotov cocktails at civilian vehicles, the army said.