Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas addresses UN General Assembly.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas did not cancel any agreements with Israel during his speech before the UN General Assembly on Wednesday, a senior Palestinian official announced on Thursday.
Mahmoud Habbash, Abbas’s adviser on religious affairs, said that the PA president’s threat to abandon signed agreements with Israel “does not mean that he will carry it out tomorrow.”
“Abbas did not declare the abrogation of any agreement,” Habbash clarified. “But he told the world that as of now that Palestinian commitment to the agreements is linked to the extent of Israel’s commitment.”
Habbash told the Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency that Abbas’s speech has “inaugurated a new phase” in relations between the Palestinians and Israel - one that is based on “reciprocity.”
Abbas threatens to stop abiding by Oslo Accords in UN speech
Habbash accused Israel of undermining the PA, especially in Area A of the West Bank, which, according to the Oslo Accords, is supposed to be under exclusive control of the PA. Habbash said that the PA was not afraid of Israel’s response to Abbas’s speech, as the situation could not be worse than it is now.
Palestinian political analyst Hani al-Masri said that he saw nothing new in Abbas’s words. “The speech was below expectations did not carry anything new,” he remarked. “This was a speech that voiced complaints, anger and begging. There were no surprises and the speech was mere rhetoric.”