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Abbas (center) arrives at the UN in February. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Tuesday that the Palestinian Authority considers itself free of all agreements and understandings with both Israel and the U.S. — including on security matters — because of Israel's annexation plans.

Why it matters: Abbas appears now to be following through on a drastic threat he had made previously, though it remains to be seen if and how his statement will be implemented.

"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."
— Mahmoud Abbas

Abbas' remarks came in a speech at an emergency meeting of the Palestinian leadership to discuss the new Israeli government’s plans to annex parts of the West Bank.

  • Abbas said that, as the occupying power, Israel should now take the responsibility over the West Bank.
  • Abbas stressed that the Israeli plan to move ahead on annexation is a unilateral cancellation of the Oslo Accords, signed in the 1990s.
  • Abbas said the Trump administration was responsible for the crisis, and “has become complicit in the Israeli occupation." He praised “other American stakeholders” that are more supportive of the Palestinians.
  • Abbas called on all the countries who are opposed to annexation and Trump's peace plan to recognize Palestine as a state.

The backdrop: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said during his swearing-in ceremony on Sunday that now is the time for Israel to annex its settlements in the West Bank.

Go deeper

Aug 25, 2020 - World

Kushner to take first Israel-UAE flight, launch normalization talks

Kushner (center) at the announcement of the normalization deal. Photo: Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images

Jared Kushner will travel next Monday on the first direct commercial flight from Tel Aviv to Abu Dhabi following a U.S.-brokered normalization agreement, the White House and the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office announced.

Why it matters: Kushner’s trip will facilitate the beginning of direct talks on various aspects of the Israel-UAE normalization process amid tensions over a pending sale of F-35 jets from the U.S. to the UAE.

Ohio special election win cements Jim Clyburn’s kingmaker status

Jim Clyburn. Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Rep. Jim Clyburn is cementing his Biden-era kingmaker status with Shontel Brown's win in Ohio,  showing progressives he has a finger on the pulse of Democratic Party politics in a way they must acknowledge.

Driving the news: "I was going to stay right here in South Carolina minding my business until I got called stupid,” Clyburn told Axios in an interview Wednesday.

Manhattan, Westchester prosecutors request evidence from Cuomo investigation

Gov. Cuomo during a press conference in New York City on Aug. 2. Photo: Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

The district attorneys for Manhattan and Westchester County on Wednesday requested evidence related to New York Attorney General Letitia James' investigation into sexual harassment allegations against Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), according to a letter obtained by NBC News.

Why it matters: The district attorneys are investigating if alleged conduct highlighted in an independent report published by James' office that occurred in their jurisdictions was criminal in nature.