PLO leadership to consider revoking recognition of Israel at upcoming meeting to consider path forward after J’lem recognition.
David Rosenberg, 12/01/18
The Palestinian Authority’s ruling faction will plan its response to President Donald Trump’s December recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital during an upcoming meeting next week, and will weigh proposals including a plan to rescind its recognition of Israel, AFPreported Friday.
This week, the Arabic-language media outlet Wafa reported that the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Central Council is set to meet on Sunday to discuss the “threat” posed by President Trump’s Jerusalem declaration to the PLO’s agenda.
“The city of Al-Quds is full of history, tradition and religion, and it will be the answer to any challenge, and it is a crossroads in order to deal with the occupation, which is determined to continue the settlement and attacks in light of the American position which is biased against our people and its legitimate national rights,” senior Palestinian Authority spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudeineh charged, as quoted by the PA news agency Wafa.
The Palestinian Authority, which expressed outrage at President Trump’s decision, has rejected the US as a broker for negotiations between the PA and Israel, but has yet to preset a coherent vision for pursuing its goals in the Trump era.
“The Palestinian leadership will not accept any offers for negotiations unless the American decision on Jerusalem is annulled,” said senior PA diplomat Saeb Erekat Wafa reported.
This coming Sunday, senior PLO members will gather in Ramallah to chart a new course, including the possible rescinding of PA recognition of the State of Israel.
PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas will open the two-day meeting Sunday evening, which will bring together the 121 council members and likely result in a non-binding vote recommending the PA adopt new sanctions against Israel, and a call for United Nations intervention to reboot negotiations.
According to senior PLO official Ahmed Majdalani, the PLO Central Council had formed a special committee to consider the PA’s response to the White House’s Jerusalem declaration, AFP reported.
Majdalani said the committee was seriously considering a proposal to rescind the PLO’s recognition of Israel – a foundational component of the 1993 Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements – better known as the first Oslo Accord.
Prior to the signing of the accord, then-Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and then-PLO chairman Yasser Arafat exchanged “letters of recognition”, in which Israel recognized the terror organization, while the PLO recognized Israel’s right to exist and pledged to remove from its national charter those clauses denying Israel’s legitimacy and calling for an “armed struggle” – a promise the PLO never fulfilled.
In the wake of Trump’s historic Jerusalem declaration, the PA has been left scrambling to find a replacement to lead final status talks between Israel and the PA. According to Majdalani, the PLO Central Council would likely turn to the United Nations to fill the void, at least in the short-term, adding that the PA would push for a UN-sponsored conference to reboot negotiations.