PLO again 'suspends' ties with Israel

Wednesday’s statement is seen by some Palestinians as an attempt by the Palestinian leadership to placate Palestinians after the killing of three Fatah gunmen in Nablus on Tuesday.

A man enters the headquarters of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), in Ramallah September 10, 2018 (photo credit: MOHAMAD TOROKMAN/REUTERS)
A man enters the headquarters of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), in Ramallah September 10, 2018
(photo credit: MOHAMAD TOROKMAN/REUTERS)

The Palestinian Central Council announced on Wednesday the “termination” of the Palestinian leadership’s obligations toward all agreements with Israel.

The announcement came at the end of the PCC session, which was held to discuss approving the appointment of officials close to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to senior positions in the PLO.
The council, which consists of various PLO factions, took a similar decision in 2018 to revoke Palestinian recognition of Israel and suspend all agreements and security coordination between the Palestinians and the Jewish state.
The decision, however, was never implemented by the PA leadership, a move that drew sharp criticism from many Palestinians and prompted several PLO factions and figures to boycott this week’s PCC session in Ramallah.
Wednesday’s statement, which was published two days after the end of the council gathering, is seen by some Palestinians as an attempt by the Palestinian leadership to placate Palestinians after the killing of three Fatah gunmen in Nablus on Tuesday.
Mourners carry the bodies of three Palestinian gunmen, killed by Israeli forces, during the funeral, in Nablus, in the West Bank, February 8, 2022 (credit: RANEEN SAWAFTA/ REUTERS)Mourners carry the bodies of three Palestinian gunmen, killed by Israeli forces, during the funeral, in Nablus, in the West Bank, February 8, 2022 (credit: RANEEN SAWAFTA/ REUTERS)

Such statements are often published immediately after meetings of key decision-making bodies in Ramallah.After the three gunmen were shot dead by IDF troops, many Palestinians accused the PA security forces of collaboration with Israel and called for a halt to security coordination. They also demanded that the Palestinian leadership suspend all relations with Israel.

The three gunmen, who were responsible for several shooting attacks in recent weeks against soldiers and civilians in the Nablus area, belonged to the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades of the ruling Fatah faction.
On Wednesday, a general strike was observed in several parts of the West Bank in mourning over the killing of the gunmen. The al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, which has hundreds of gunmen in the West Bank, has threatened to avenge their deaths.
“The Central Council affirmed the termination of the obligations of the PLO and the Palestinian Authority toward all agreements with the occupying state,” the statement read. “This includes suspending recognition of the State of Israel until it recognizes the State of Palestine on the borders of June 4, 1967, with east Jerusalem as its capital, halting settlements, and halting all forms of security coordination.”
The council affirmed the rejection of economic peace projects and confidence-building measures that Israel proposes “as an alternative to a permanent and just peace.”
The PCC, the second-highest decision-making body of the PLO after the PLO Executive Committee, reiterated its rejections of former US president Donald Trump’s “Deal of the Century” plan for Mideast peace, his recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, as well as the transfer of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
The council called on President Joe Biden and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to fulfill their commitment to the two-state solution and to ending settlement construction. It also called on the Biden administration to reopen the US consulate in Jerusalem that was closed by the Trump administration in 2018.