A key body of the PLO voted Monday to suspend the recognition of Israel, a measure that would undermine one of the founding principles of the already very poor peace effort with the Israelis.
The appeal was launched after a two-day meeting in Ramallah, West Bank of the PLO Central Council, one of the organs of this internationally recognized organization representing all Palestinians.
The meeting, in the presence of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, was convened on an extraordinary basis to respond to the December 6 decision by US President Donald Trump to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, a move by Palestinians to their country. cause.
During the vote, the central council of the PLO “instructed the PLO Executive Committee to suspend the recognition of Israel until it recognizes the State of Palestine within its 1967 borders, cancels annexation. of East Jerusalem and ceases its settlement activities, “according to a statement.
This vote received 74 votes for, 2 against and 12 abstentions, noted an AFP journalist.
The Executive Committee, headed by Mr. Abbas, is the only authority empowered to make decisions committing Palestinians in the peace process with Israel. In 2015, a vote by the PLO central council to suspend security coordination with Israel was not followed up.
Before the vote on Monday night, an angry speech by Abbas on Sunday gave the tone of the meeting. “The business of the century has turned into a slap of the century,” Mr Abbas thundered, referring to Trump’s proclaimed desire to preside over the “ultimate (diplomatic) agreement” between Israelis and Palestinians.
God and Trump House
The United States under Trump has discredited himself in the role of mediator, the Palestinians reject the plan that Washington is supposed to present at an indefinite deadline and all the options are on the table, had listed Mr. Abbas.
“There is no more Oslo,” because of Israel’s fault, he said, citing the process begun in 1993 and supposed to lead to a negotiated peace between Palestinians and Israelis. These agreements, generally regarded as prefiguring the creation of a Palestinian state, remained one of the references of the peace effort.
Seventeen Palestinians, the latest on Monday, have been killed in violence since the announcement of the US decision on December 6.
Palestinians see Donald Trump’s decision, breaking with decades of international diplomacy, a denial of their demands on annexed and occupied East Jerusalem. But it is also, in their eyes, the most flagrant manifestation of the pro-Israel bias of the White House.
Since taking office one year ago, Trump has failed to support the creation of a Palestinian state. His administration remained very secretive about Israeli colonization and was close to closing the PLO office in Washington. It is now threatening to cut aid to the Palestinians because they would not negotiate.
“When did we refuse?”, Abbas was indignant. “God destroy your house,” he dropped to Trump’s address, using a common Arabic oath.
Palestinians froze contacts with the Trump administration. US Vice President Mike Pence will visit Jerusalem next week, but will not meet with any Palestinian leader.
The Islamist Hamas movement, which is not part of the PLO and declined the invitation to the central council, earlier in the day accused Abbas of “failing to meet the ambitions of our people”.
In response to Abbas’s Sunday statement, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman accused the Palestinian president of “losing his mind”.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, currently in India, told him that Abbas “has been telling the truth that I have been saying for many years: the conflict with the Palestinians stems from their continued refusal to recognize the Jewish state. whatever the boundaries “.