(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Palestinian officials on Thursday denied that President Mahmoud Abbas was planning to resign or dismantle the Palestinian Authority.
The denial came in response to unconfirmed reports published in a number of Arab media outlets that Abbas would make a “surprise announcement” in the coming days.
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Ghassan Shaka’ah, a member of the PLO Executive Committee, described the reports as “unfounded rumors.” The PA is an organ of the PLO.
The resignation of Abbas or the dismantlement of the PA was not an “individual matter and would require a Palestinian consensus,” Shaka’ah said.
The rumors were sparked by Abbas’s comments during an interview with an
Egyptian TV station earlier this week. In the interview, Abbas said that
he was about to announce “something surprising and dangerous to the
On Wednesday night, he hinted at the possibility of dissolving the PA
when he told a meeting of the Fatah Revolutionary Council that the
“Palestinian Authority was not an authority and many people and
institutions ask me about the futility of maintaining it.”
Abbas said that he planned to discuss the future of the PA with Hamas
leader Khaled Mashaal during their meeting set for next month.
Abbas said that when he met US President Barack Obama in New York last
month, he asked him for an answer as to where the Palestinians were
“The important question that we are asking is: Where are we headed?” he
said. “We want an answer to this question and we want to know what to
do. The Palestinian Authority is no longer an authority and this is the
issue that needs to be addressed.”
Hana Ameereh, another member of the PLO Executive Committee, also ruled out the possibility that Abbas would dissolve the PA.
The future of the PA would be discussed by all Palestinian factions only
after the UN Security Council votes on Abbas’s application for
recognition of a Palestinian state, Ameereh said.
Ameereh claimed that the US has been exerting pressure on members of the
Security Council to delay the vote until late next month.