PA negotiator: We may withdraw recognition of Israel
By KHALED ABU TOAMEH The Jerusalem Post 12/26/2011 00:32
Palestinians may cancel agreements signed between the PLO and Israel; Abbas
paving way for Hamas and Islamic Jihad to take control over entire W. Bank,
says Fatah official after Islamist groups agree to join PLO.
Mohammed Shtayyeh, member of the Fatah Central Committee and one of the
Palestinian Authority negotiators with Israel, was quoted Sunday as saying
that the Palestinians may cancel the agreements signed between the PLO and
Meanwhile, some PLO and Fatah leaders have privately criticized Palestinian
Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for agreeing to incorporate Hamas into the
At least three senior officials in Ramallah have voiced strong reservations
over the decision, a Fatah official told The Jerusalem Post. He said that
those who were opposed to the move were worried that Hamas would replace
Fatah as the dominant party in the PLO.
One official was quoted as saying that Abbas was paving the way for Hamas
and Islamic Jihad to take control not only over the PLO, but the entire West
Bank as well.
Shtayyeh's comments were published by the London-based Asharq Al Awsat
This was not the first time that a senior PA official had talked about the
possibility of abrogating the Oslo Accords.
The comments came less than 48 hours after Hamas and Islamic Jihad agreed to
join a temporary leadership of the PLO that would prepare for new elections
for the organization's two key bodies - the Palestine National Council and
In response to a question about Israeli settlements, Shtayyeh said: "If
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu insists that there is no
difference between the settlement of Abu Ghneim [Har Homa] and Tel Aviv, we
won't distinguish between Ramallah and Jaffa."
With regards to the PLO's decision to recognize Israel in 1993, Shtayyeh
explained: "The recognition of Israel was not a balanced recognition. The
PLO recognized Israel in the geographic sense, but Israel did not recognize
Palestine geographically, but as an institution. Israel only recognized the
PLO. Now we are demanding a mutual recognition. We want Israel to recognize
the Palestinian territories of 1967."
Shtayyeh said the Palestinians' efforts would from now on focus on internal
affairs. "President [Mahmoud] Abbas is now interested in reuniting the
Palestinians," he said. "In the year 2012, their will be a political vacuum
because the US will be preoccupied with presidential elections, the
Europeans with the Euro crisis and the Arabs with their "Spring."