Official: Abbas Won’t Announce Dismantling of PA

Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas told a number of European diplomats last week that he does not intend to announce the dismantling of the Palestinian Authority or the cancellation of the Oslo Accords during his upcoming speech at the United Nations General Assembly, a senior Israeli official told Haaretz on Sunday night.

According to the senior Israeli official, the European diplomats asked Abbas for clarifications following reports in the Palestinian and Arab media of his intended announcements in his September 30th speech. 

Abbas, who just a few days ago said he was going to “drop a bombshell” in the speech, told the diplomats that he had no intention of taking steps like ending security cooperation with Israel, according to Haaretz.

The senior Israeli official said that although Abbas had not asked them to do so, some of the diplomats updated the government in Jerusalem on Abbas’ statements. 

However, people around Abbas continue to convey the opposite message. The senior Israeli official said that a close associate of Abbas, Saeb Erekat, said recently in conversations with European diplomats that Abbas was going to announce the dismantling of the PA and was going to “return the keys to Israel.”

Reports recently surfaced that Abbas was planning to do away entirely with the 1993 agreement, and will officially announce the move at the UN General Assembly later this month.

PA official Ahmed Majdalani was quoted by Palestinian media as saying that Abbas will tell the UN that since Israel did not comply with the Oslo Accords and did not allow the establishment of a Palestinian state, the PA is no longer committed to the agreements.

The Oslo Accords created the PA, which was tasked with governing over parts of Judea, Samaria and Gaza. As part of the accords, Israel also acknowledged that the PLO is its partner in permanent status negotiations about remaining issues.

The reports came on the heels of Abbas’s resignation as head of the PLO’s executive body, and amid continuing reports that he plans to resign as PA chairman as well.

Erekat leads the extreme line in the Palestinian leadership on the diplomatic conflict with Israel, noted Haaretz. His remarks were interpreted by many of those with whom he met as an attempt to pressure the international community. Erekat told his interlocutors that Abbas would meet early next week in New York with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry before his speech at the UN.

Erekat said Abbas wanted to hear clearly from Kerry what the Obama administration’s policy is toward the freeze in the peace process and whether the United States intended to take concrete steps.

“Erekat told a number of officials that according to what Abbas heard from Kerry he would decide how far to go in his speech,” the senior Israeli official told Haaretz.


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