From left; Former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, former US president Bill Clinton, and the late PLO leader Yasser Arafat on the White House lawn..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Israeli officials on Monday shrugged off and dismissed as “more brinkmanship” reports that PA President Mahmoud Abbas plans to tell the UN General Assembly meeting later this month that he is no longer bound by the Oslo Accords.
PLO Executive Committee member Ahmed Majdalani claimed on Sunday that the Palestinians are planning to announce the cancellation of the accords.
Majdalani said that Abbas would make clear during his speech to the UN that, since Israel was not honoring the agreements with the Palestinians and refusing to allow the establishment of a Palestinian state, the Palestinians would no longer be committed to the accords. He said that leaders of various Palestinian factions have agreed to end the contractual relationship with Israel and declare a new working program.
According to Majdalani, the upcoming session of the Palestinian National Council is scheduled to discuss the idea of abrogating the Oslo Accords with Israel. However, Palestinian sources said on Monday that the PNC session, which was supposed to take place in Ramallah next week, has been delayed due to differences between various factions.
A senior PA official in Ramallah declined to comment on Majdalani’s remarks.
The threat to no longer be bound by the Oslo Accords follows by just a few days consistent reports in the Arabic media that Abbas was going to resign. Both threats, one Israeli government official said, are often leveled by the Palestinians.
“We are a bit cynical,” the official said. “The Palestinians have a history of negotiating through brinkmanship – either Abbas threatens to resign, or to dismantle the Palestinian Authority, or to annul the Oslo Accords.”
The official said that “none of this is new,” and is part of a Palestinian tactic to get the world to “hold it back” before it “jumps off the cliff.” As a result, he said, there is a “certain degree of skepticism” in Jerusalem.
“This is a charade,” the official said. “The Palestinians refuse to negotiate and then say that it is time for radical steps because there are no negotiations.”
Rather than “playing along” with the Palestinians, the official added, the international community needs to hold them accountable for not being willing to negotiate, except after setting unacceptable preconditions.