search
Exclusive

Palestinian security to reassess ties with Israel this week

PLO official Hanan Ashrawi urges Palestinians to ‘redefine relationship with Israel in all areas’; blasts Netanyahu’s ‘destruction of peace’

Elhanan Miller is the former Arab affairs reporter for The Times of Israel

PLO official Hanan Ashrawi at her office in Ramallah, January 31, 2012 (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
PLO official Hanan Ashrawi at her office in Ramallah, January 31, 2012 (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

The PLO’s political committee will meet with heads of Palestinian security agencies this week to reassess security cooperation with Israel, a senior PLO official told The Times of Israel.

Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the PLO’s Executive Committee, said she supports a comprehensive reappraisal of Palestinian relations with Israel due to what she called the intransigence of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in negotiations.

“We certainly should redefine our relationship with Israel in all areas, because Netanyahu has reneged on all agreements and is working deliberately and aggressively to destroy the chances of peace,” she said, declining to comment on the position of the Palestinian security establishment. “We have to work in ways that will rescue the chances of peace … whatever it takes, we have to do.”

In the run-up to election day, Netanyahu told Israeli news site NRG that he will not allow a Palestinian state to be established on his watch. But following his reelection on March 17, Netanyahu qualified his comments by saying he was still committed to a two-state solution when “circumstances change.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at a peace conference in Washington, D.C. on September 2, 2010. (photo credit: Moshe Milner/GPO/Flash90)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, left, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meet at a peace conference in Washington, DC, on September 2, 2010. (photo credit: Moshe Milner/GPO/Flash90)

Ashrawi, a member of the political committee created last week by the PLO to redefine Palestinian ties with Israel, said she was unconvinced by Netanyahu’s “verbal protestations.”

British Prime Minister David Cameron urged Netanyahu on Monday to pursue a two-state solution through renewed negotiations, but Ashrawi said the Palestinians intend to intensify their unilateral course of action, asking for additional international recognition of a Palestinian state, acceding to more international charters and conventions and “pursuing accountability via the International Criminal Court.”

‘Netanyahu has played a game of grand deception which is extremely dangerous, not just for Israel but also for Palestine and the region’

Palestinian membership in the ICC will officially start on April 1, allowing the PA to sue individual Israelis for war crimes. Ashrawi said that a national Palestinian committee is currently preparing two cases to be brought before the court: the ongoing construction of settlements, which she asserted constitutes a war crime under the Rome Statute and the Fourth Geneva Convention, and the Israeli actions in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge.

Commenting on the reluctance of the Obama administration to accept Netanyahu’s clarifications, Ashrawi asserted that Israel is sure to face growing isolation both in Europe and in the US, which are more willing to act against the Jewish state in multilateral frameworks such as the UN Security Council and other international institutions.

“Even though people were willing to give Netanyahu a willing suspension of disbelief regardless of what he was doing on the ground, we [the Palestinians] knew all along that he was destroying the chances of peace and the two-state solution. But now it has become so clear that matters have come to a head,” she said.

“Netanyahu has played a game of grand deception which is extremely dangerous, not just for Israel but also for Palestine and the region.”

read more:
comments
Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed