Palestinians have 'halted' all agreements with Israel, says Abbas

Abbas reached out to Hamas, offering to end the dispute between the movement and his ruling Fatah faction.

July 25, 2019 22:25
2 minute read.
Palestinians have 'halted' all agreements with Israel, says Abbas

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas gestures as he speaks during a ceremony marking the 14th anniversary of the death of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in Ramallah, November 11, 2018. (photo credit: MOHAMAD TOROKMAN/REUTERS)

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas announced on Thursday that the Palestinian leadership has decided to “halt” all agreements signed with Israel.

Abbas reached out to Hamas, offering to end the dispute between the movement and his ruling Fatah faction.

“We announce the leadership’s decision to stop dealing with agreements signed with the Israeli side,” Abbas said during an emergency meeting of PA leaders in Ramallah.

The meeting was called to discuss this week’s demolition of Palestinian buildings in the Wadi al-Hummus area near the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Sur Baher.

“As of tomorrow, we will lay mechanisms for implementing the decision taken by the Palestinian Central Council,” Abbas said, adding that a special committee will be formed to follow up on the decision.

Abbas did not say how the PA would “halt work” related to the agreements signed between the Palestinians and Israel.

A number of Palestinian key decision-making institutions have recommended that the PA revise all agreements with Israel and halt security coordination between the PA security forces and the IDF in the West Bank.

Following the Wadi al-Hummus demolitions, several senior Palestinian officials said that the PA was considering severing all relations with Israel.

Abbas said in a statement that Thursday’s decision was taken in light of Israel’s insistence on negating all agreements signed with the Palestinians.

Abbas strongly condemned the demolition of the buildings in Wadi al-Hummus and accused Israel of “blatantly violating international law.” The demolitions, he said, are also in violation of agreements signed between the two sides. Accusing Israel of carrying out “ethnic cleansing” and committing a “crime against humanity,” Abbas also lashed out at the US administration for backing Israeli policies and measures.

“We won’t surrender to dictates,” Abbas said, adding that Israel’s measures in Jerusalem are illegal and null and void.

“The US administration, through its bias in favor of Israel and attempt to pass the Deal of the Century, is providing a cover for Israeli violations against our people,” the PA president charged. “We have rejected this and will continue to do so.”

Abbas again vowed that the Palestinians will thwart “Israeli and American schemes alike.” He said there will be no peace or security or stability until Palestinians obtain their full rights.

“We reaffirm that we haven’t mandated anyone to talk on behalf of the state of Palestine,” Abbas said in an implicit criticism of some Arab states that are said to be working closely with the US administration. “The PLO is the sole legitimate representative of our people, and we have no partner. The Arabs are our brothers and have an interest in the Palestinian cause, but we are the ones who decide.”

Abbas said that although the Palestinians continue to reach out for peace with Israel, they won’t accept the continuation of the status quo. “We won’t surrender and we won’t live with the occupation.”

He repeated his fierce rejection of the “Deal of the Century” (the US administration’s upcoming Middle East peace plan), dubbing it the “slap of the century” and the “deal of shame.”

Abbas added: “Palestine and Jerusalem are not for sale. Nor are they part of a real estate deal.”

He again appealed to Hamas to implement the reconciliation agreements it signed with Fatah. “My hand is still extended [to Hamas] for reconciliation,” Abbas said. “I want the reconciliation.”

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