U.N. Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolai Mladenov told a mass gathering in the Palestinian Authority on Monday “never to give up” their aspirations for statehood.
Mladenov was one of many foreign diplomats—among them representatives from the European Union, Russia, China and Japan—who addressed the rally in Jericho, organized by P.A. leader Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party to protest against Israel’s plan to begin extending sovereignty over parts of Judea and Samaria in July.
According to the Arab and international press, Mladenov and the other representatives from abroad all expressed opposition to the application of Israeli law to areas specified in U.S. President Donald Trump’s “Peace to Prosperity” plan.
“The U.N. believes annexation is against international law,” said Mladenov. “If it happens, it might kill the very idea that peace and statehood for the Palestinian people can be achieved through negotiations.”
He then called on the “people of Palestine” not to “stray away from the path of non-violence. You’re not renting a home; this is your home. Do not lose sight of the goal of a free Palestinian state … next to Israel.”
A day before the demonstration, senior Palestinian official Jibril Rajoub threatened a possible violent response in the event that peaceful opposition to Israel’s scheduled move is unsuccessful. “Our fingers are on the triggers,” he said.