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Palestinian leaders' confused messaging over next steps with Israel

Some say President Mahmoud Abbas' announcement that the Palestinian Authority is ending agreements with Israel is nothing but a leap in the dark, while PA officials stress that the decision represents the beginning of a new phase.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas speaks during a leadership meeting in Ramallah, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank May 19, 2020. Alaa Badarneh/Pool via REUTERS - RC2WRG9N14TF

RAMALLAH, West Bank — May 20 was no different than any other day for Palestinians, without any concrete changes following the May 19 announcement of President Mahmoud Abbas that all agreements signed with the United States and Israel were being ended. The statement was made at a meeting of the Palestinian leadership to discuss options for responding to Israeli government plans to annex parts of the West Bank.

“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 a Palestinian leadership emergency meeting in Ramallah.

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