Palestinian honor guards carry the coffin of Palestinian minister Ziad Abu Ein during his funeral in the West Bank city of Ramallah.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
PLO and Fatah leaders who were supposed to meet last Friday to discuss their response to the death of senior Palestinian official Ziad Abu Ein delayed their meeting until Sunday, Palestinian sources in Ramallah said.
The Palestinian leaders were scheduled to discuss a series of measures in response to the death of Abu Ein, who died last week of a heart attack following an altercation with IDF soldiers north of Ramallah.
The measures include the suspension of security coordination between the Palestinian Authority and Israel and seeking a UN Security Council that sets a timeline for an Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines.
The Palestinian leaders were supposed to meet on Friday, but the meeting was called off, apparently under pressure from various international parties, including US Secretary of State John Kerry.
Kerry phoned PA President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday and discussed with him the latest developments in the region in the aftermath of the incident that resulted in the death of Abu Ein, who headed the PLO’s Commission Against The Separation Walla and Settlements.
Abbas’s office said that the purpose of Kerry’s phone call was to offer condolences over the death of Abu Ein.
However, a PA official revealed on Saturday that Kerry asked Abbas to refrain from taking decisions that could “complicate the situation and damage any chance of resuming the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
The official said that Kerry and some EU government officials expressed fear that a Palestinian decision to suspend security coordination with Israel would have further escalate tensions between Israel and the Palestinians.
The official said that Chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat was expected to fly to Rome on Sunday to meet with Kerry, who is also hoping to persuade the PA to delay its statehood bid at the Security Council. Last week, Erekat said that the Palestinians were planning to present their statehood plan to the Security Council before Christmas.
PA Minister for Civilian Affairs, Hussein al-Sheikh, refused to comment on reports about the suspension of security coordination with Israel.
Some Fatah leaders, including Jibril Rajoub, claimed last week that the PA has already decided to end security coordination with Israel.
Tawfik Tirawi, member of the Fatah Central Committee, said last Friday that the Palestinians have still not decided whether to halt security coordination with Israel.