Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon slammed the Palestinian Authority on Tuesday, after the PLO Central Council decided to suspend its recognition of the state of Israel.
The PLO made the decision late Monday night and said that it would rescind its recognition of Israel until the Jewish state recognizes the state of Palestine at the pre-1967 lines with east Jerusalem as its capital. The decision taken on Monday night at the end of the two-day meeting in Ramallah, is non-binding.
“This is a big mistake,” Kahlon, who is chairman of the Kulanu Party and a member of Israel’s security cabinet, told Army Radio. “Over the last year, Ramllah has become more and more extreme and is torpedoing any chance of an agreement. Their desire is to starve the Gaza Strip.”
Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid said that the PLO’s decision was a “bad joke.”
For all we care, they can decide not to recognize the sun, the invention of the wheel, and gravity,” Lapid said. “We established a glorious state with our own hands without asking anyone. We will continue to build strong and safe Israel and when the Palestinians decide to recognize reality they are more than welcome to give us a call.”
The PLO said that a committee will now be created to examine the recommendation, which would also need the approval of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
The council essentially wants to cease compliance with the 1993 Oslo Accord, which set out a transitionary phase during which time the Palestinians would move toward statehood. The council has declared that this transitory phase, which was only supposed to last for five to seven years, is over. It insisted that Palestinian statehood must be recognized now.
Formal adoption of the PLO Central Council’s recommendation would bring the Oslo Accord to an end.
It’s unclear if such a move would happen. But the statement speaks the frustration on the part of Fatah and the PLO’s with the swift changes the Trump Administration has wrought in the Middle East with respect to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
A council statement posted on WAFA, said, ”In view of Israel's continued denial of the signed agreements, the PCC (PLO Central Council), in confirmation of its previous decision and considering that the transitional phase no longer exists, decides to end the commitments of the PLO and the Palestinian Authority towards its agreements with the occupying power, suspend recognition of the state of Israel until its recognition of the state of Palestine on the June 4, 1967 borders with east Jerusalem as its capital, end security coordination in all its forms, and disengage economically from Israel on the grounds that the transitional phase, including the Paris Economic Protocols no longer exist.”
The move comes as relations between the United States and the Palestinian Authority are at an all time low, with the Trump Administration closing the PA’s representative office in Washington, DC and its announcement to close its pseudo embassy to the PA, the Consulate General in Jerusalem.
The Trump Administration has also cut its financial assistance to the PA and to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency.
US President Donald Trump is expected to unveil a peace plan in the coming months. The PA has already publicly rejected the plan, even before it has been presented to it.
The PLO dramatic statement also comes Egypt, the United Nations and Israel has bypassed the PA in hopes of reaching an understanding or even a long term truce with Hamas in Gaza that would put an end to the rocket fire and border violence.
Egypt and the U.N. have pressured Abbas to halt the severe sanctions he had imposed on the Gaza Strip, including cutting funding for fuel and failure to pay salaries, in hopes of forcing Hamas to end is 11-year rule of the enclave.
In its Monday night statement the PLO said that only its representatives and not Hamas, were authorized to negotiate a deal to end Gaza violence with Israel.
Education Minister Naftali Bennett responded to the PLO's announcement by stating: “The Palestinians have never been serious about recognizing Israel. They have always been planning to destroy Israel piece by piece and throw the Jews out of our land."
“The charade has ended. They have shown their true colors - the Palestinians are not interested in peace and never have been.”
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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