Mideast: PLO wants to stop security coordination with Israel

Over 'systematic violation accords'. Tension escalates

06 March, 10:20

    Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas attends PLO meeting Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas attends PLO meeting

    (by Massimo Lomonaco) (ANSAmed) - RAMALLAH, MARCH 6 - The PLO central council has decided to stop all coordination activities on security with Israel. The decision, taken so far as a 'recommendation' to the Palestinian National Authority of President Abu Mazen, followed a two-day meeting focusing on strategies to confront a stalling peace process amid a climate of increasing tension.

    The move - which appears to question one of the key points of the Oslo accords in the 1990s - was motivated with the ''systematic violation'' by Israel of its ''obligations in relation to the agreements signed'', as well as in response to the ''military raids in the state of Palestine and attacks against civilians and (private) properties''.

    The PLO - including over 120 members representing the West Bank, Gaza Strip and members of the diaspora in several Arab countries - also said that ''any attempt to recognize Israel as a Jewish State'' must be rejected, an issue introduced as a condition for any peace prospect by the government of Benjamin Netanyahu.

    Palestine - said the harsh statement released last night by the top organization representing the Palestinian cause - will not legitimize racist policies conducted by Israel against the Palestinian people, both in Israel and in the Palestinian state'', exactly as ''it rejects the Islamization of the region promoted by extremist entities'' from jihadist groups.

    Another issue concerns the boycott of ''all Israeli products and not just those from settlements''. ''Israel must pay the price for its refusal to take responsibility in front of international laws, including the systematic denial of the right to self-determination of the Palestinian population''.

    The document voted at the end of the meeting - and published in Arabic by the Maan news agency - said that ''any new resolution of the UN Security Council'' will have to assure a ''renewed engagement for international legitimacy'' and guarantee ''a deadline to end occupation and enable the state of Palestine to exercise its sovereignty on its territory occupied in 1967, including the capital, Jerusalem'', without ruling out the ''refugee issue''.

    Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat cited statements by PNA President Abu Mazen, who called for the resumption of the Arab Peace Initiative to reach a peace that will be ''lasting and just in Palestine, to have it in the rest of the region''.

    Now the PNA leadership will need to establish the timing and moves to implement the PLO's directives. According to Palestinian sources quoted by Israeli media, the US already warned Abu Mazen against taking important decisions before imminent elections in Israel.

    The document seals a phase of escalating tension already marked - after the refusal of the Netanyahu government to freeze settlements in the Territories and halt US-sponsored talks - by the diplomatic battle over the recognition of the state of Palestine by the UN General Assembly.

    This was followed by the announced Palestinian initiative at the International criminal court in the Hague over alleged war crimes committed by Israel and the retaliation of the Netanyahu government that halted the transfer of custom taxes to the PNA.

    (ANSAmed)

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