Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said in a May 5, 2020 address that was posted on the Facebook page of Palestine TV that the countries of the world do not agree on where the coronavirus came from and that no serious effort is being made to find a vaccine or medicine for it. He also said that in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Palestinian Authority has been dealing with the Deal of the Century and with potential Israeli annexation of the Jordan Valley, the Dead Sea, settlements in the West Bank, and the Cave of the Patriarchs. President Abbas declared that if Israel announces that it plans to annex even a single centimeter of any of these areas, the Palestinian Authority will consider itself no longer bound by any of the agreements that it has signed with Israel and the United States. In addition, he insisted that the correct number of Palestinian refugees from 1948 is 950,000, and not 850,000 or 250,000 as has been claimed by others.
Mahmoud Abbas: "As you and I are hearing, the countries of the world disagree on many things and they disagree on where this [COVID-19] virus came from, how it appeared, what its nature is... Worse still, to this moment, there are no serious efforts to find a cure, a vaccine, or a medicine that can stop the existence of this disease.
"In the midst of this tragedy, we have been dealing with the Deal of the Century and with the annexation declared by... Well, the Israelis still haven't officially declared the annexation of the Jordan Valley, of the Dead Sea, of the settlements, and of the Cave of the Patriarchs. They are now focusing – and I am saying this with the press present... The Israeli government is now focusing on the Cave of the Patriarchs. They want to take a few square meters to do something. We will consider this the beginning of the annexation. Therefore, if Israel announces that it plans to annex even a single centimeter of the Cave of the Patriarchs, the settlements, or the Jordan River, we will consider ourselves to be no longer bound by all the agreements that we have signed with them and with the Americans. Why the Americans? Because they are the ones who brought the Deal of the Century and they are the ones who inspired the Israelis [to go on] with the annexation. They are the ones who pushed them towards this. So they cannot say to us: 'We have nothing to do with this. Israel is making these decisions.' The Deal of the Century came from America. All of the American officials talked about it multiple times – the Secretary of State and others. They said that this deal would be implemented. We will not wait for its implementation. The moment this is declared, we will consider ourselves to no longer be bound by all the agreements we signed and to which we committed ourselves – all of them, with no exception.
"The number of refugees who were driven out of their homes... A refugee is not someone who was expelled from his country. A refugee is someone who was expelled from his home. [The figure is] 950,000 refugees. I remember that [in 2000], when we went to negotiate in Camp David, the Israelis said: 'There were 250,000 refugees, most of whom are dead, and we will see about compensations for the others...' No! The official figure in the UN's records is 950,000. A few days ago, I read in one of our media outlets that the figure was 800,000 or 850,000. No! It is 950,000."