Palestinian sources: Kerry pressing Abbas to hold off on anti-Israel measures before election

PLO Central Council is set to convene in Ramallah this week to discuss the Palestinian response to Israel’s decision to withhold tax revenues belonging to the PA.

March 1, 2015 20:04
1 minute read.
Kerry and Abbas

US Secretary of State Kerry meets with Palestinian President Abbas in Amman.. (photo credit: REUTERS)

US Secretary of State John Kerry is exerting pressure on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas not to make any “fateful decisions” regarding Israel before its upcoming election, Palestinian sources said Sunday.

The PLO’s Central Council is scheduled to convene in Ramallah this week to discuss the Palestinians’ response to the Israeli government’s decision to withhold tax revenues belonging to the PA.

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Some PLO officials have called for a series of harsh measures in response to the Israeli decision, including the suspension of security coordination and abrogating agreements with Israel. Other officials have urged Abbas to dissolve the PA and called for stepping up “popular resistance” against Israel.

On Friday, Kerry phoned Abbas and discussed with him the current crisis between the PA and Israel.

The sources told the London- based Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that Kerry pressured Abbas to refrain from making any decision that could negatively impact efforts to revive the peace negotiations after the election.

“Kerry phoned Abbas and urged him to calm the situation and avoid escalation,” the sources said. They added that Kerry expressed his opposition to the Israeli decision to withhold the tax funds and cut off electricity to Palestinian cities because of the PA’s debt to the Israel Electric Corporation.

“The Palestinian Authority is in danger of collapsing because of the severe financial crisis,” the sources noted.

According to the sources, Kerry promised to put pressure on Israel to rescind its decisions. But in return, Kerry also demanded that the PLO Central Council refrain from making any decision to cancel political, security and economic agreements with Israel.

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