Top Palestinian body calls for revoking recognition of Israel, nixing agreements
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Top Palestinian body calls for revoking recognition of Israel, nixing agreements

Decision by Palestinian Central Council is not binding, but Abbas has vowed not to sidestep it, as he has done in the past

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas (2nd-R) speaks during a meeting with the Palestinian Central Council in the West Bank city of Ramallah, on October 28, 2018. (ABBAS MOMANI / AFP)
Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas (2nd-R) speaks during a meeting with the Palestinian Central Council in the West Bank city of Ramallah, on October 28, 2018. (ABBAS MOMANI / AFP)

A top Palestinian body on Monday passed a motion urging Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to suspend all agreements with Israel and revoke recognition of the Jewish state until Israel formally recognizes a Palestinian state on the 1967 lines.

“We recognize the right to resist the occupation in all methods that comply with international law,” the Palestinian Central Council, a Palestine Liberation Organization decision-making body, said in its decision.

The body, convening in Ramallah, said Palestinians should end “all forms” of security coordination with Israel and nullify several financial agreements that it said were being “ignored” by Jerusalem.

The vote is not binding, and a final decision rests with Abbas. Previous votes by the council in January 2018 and in 2015 to suspend security coordination with Israel were not implemented.

In recent years, Abbas has threatened multiple times to nix agreements between the Palestinians and Israel, but he has not moved to do away with them.

The PA president said last week, however, that his Ramallah-based government would not be able sidestep the decisions the Central Council makes at its upcoming meeting, calling the PLO body “the highest Palestinian authority.”

Abbas last Wednesday indicated in a television interview that such a move could be made when the Palestinian Central Council convenes on Sunday and Monday.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas speaks during a meeting with the Palestinian Central Council in the West Bank city of Ramallah on October 28, 2018. (ABBAS MOMANI / AFP)

“We are going to put all the agreements between us and the Israelis on the table and we will ask them to stop violating each agreement,” Abbas told Palestine TV, the official PA television station. “I am not saying this is an easy issue; it is a dangerous issue. Perhaps we will arrive at the point of abrogating a lot of what is between us and the Israelis.”

The PLO and Israel have signed several agreements, including the Oslo Accords, which established the PA and outlined security, economic and other ties between it and the Jewish state.

Asked about Abbas’s statement at the time, Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon declined to comment.

Abbas also said the Central Council could cancel agreements between the Palestinians and the United States.

On Sunday, speaking at the opening of the PCC’s meeting, Abbas vowed to oppose any peace proposal by US President Donald Trump and said Palestinians were facing perhaps the “most dangerous stage” in their history, highlighting a series of measures taken by Trump including recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

US President Donald Trump signing a proclamation that the US government will formally recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, at the White House in Washington, DC, December 6, 2017. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images via JTA)

Abbas has boycotted the White House since that December decision, though the US president’s team is still expected to release a peace plan in the coming months.

Abbas compared the expected Trump proposal to the 1917 Balfour Declaration, which saw the British government commit to the creation of a state for Jews in historic Palestine.

“If the Balfour Declaration passed, this deal will not pass,” he pledged.

The US has also cut hundreds of millions of dollars in aid for Palestinians, with Trump angered by Abbas’s refusal to meet with him or members of his administration.

He has called on Abbas to negotiate, but Palestinian leaders say they are being blackmailed to accept Trump’s terms, which they see as blatantly biased in favor of Israel.

“They are still talking about the deal of the era. ‘We will prepare and present you the deal of the era. In a month, the deal of the era. In two months, the deal of the era. In three months, the deal of the era.’ You already presented all of the deal of the era. What of the deal of era remains? Jerusalem, you swallowed it and moved your embassy to it. Refugees and the right of refugees, you put an end to that,” Abbas added, saying Trump’s actions amounted to imposing a deal unilaterally.

Adam Rasgon, agencies and Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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