Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said on Tuesday that if Israel annexes parts of Judea and Samaria, the Palestinians would declare a state based on the pre-1967 lines and launch an international recognition campaign.

The campaign, he said, would include recognition of eastern Jerusalem as the state’s capital, reported Ynet.

Shtayyeh called annexation an “existential threat” for the Palestinians.

Former senior U.S. officials told JNS earlier this month that it was unlikely that P.A. leader Mahmoud Abbas would follow through on threats to cut ties with Israel, stop security cooperation and void past agreements if Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continues with his plan to apply Israeli law to the Jordan Valley and parts of Judea and Samaria.

According to Harold Rhode, a longtime former adviser on Islamic affairs within the U.S. Defense Department’s Office of Net Assessment, Abbas’s threat to cut off security cooperation and end agreements with Israel is empty since it is in Abbas’s and other senior Palestinian officials’ interest to continue the cooperation.

Law professor Eugene Kontorovich of George Mason University’s school of law called the P.A. declaration “comical.”

Kontorovich, who is also director of the Center for International Law in the Middle East and of International Law at the Jerusalem-based Kohelet Policy Forum, told JNS, “The Palestinian Prime Minister’s statement today are comical. Once again we are seeing the Palestinians threaten to end agreements with Israel which they never honored in the first place and which they repeatedly claimed to have already ended, while still claiming their benefits.

“The threat of declaring a state on ’67 lines is comical, as they have already claimed a state on all of Israel multiple times in the past. It just shows that the Palestinians have no more cards to play.”

© 2020 American Jewish Congress.