Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Abbas announces the suspension of all agreements with Israel

By F.F. Dawkins - July 29, 2019
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [Palestinian Authority]

President of the Palestinian Authority (PA), Mahmoud Abbas, announced on Thursday, 25 July, that he would stop implementing bilateral agreements between Israel and Palestine.

Abbas said during an emergency meeting of PA leaders in Ramallah, "We announce the leadership's decision to stop implementing the agreements signed with the Israeli side, […] As of tomorrow, we will lay mechanisms for implementing the decision taken by the Palestinian Central Council”.

The meeting was called to discuss appropriate answers to the recent house demolition in Wadi al Hummus near the East Jerusalem neighbourhood Sur Baher.

Abbas heavily condemned the demolition stating that these actions are a “blatantly violating international law” and that Israel is carrying out “ethnic cleansing”. The destruction of ten houses in Wadi al Hummus caused international controversy and backlash for Israel.

As a next step, Abbas announced that the PA would form a special committee, which will outline a plan to realise the decision, starting on Friday. Furthermore, Abbas condemned the US-led peace plan and called for a new attempt to reconcile the relationship between the Fatah and Hamas.

Although Abbas failed to detail which agreements will be suspended, several key decision-making intuitions have recommended to revise all agreements and halt the cooperation between the PA security forces and the IDF in the West Bank.

However, as many fear now a deterioration of the Israeli and Palestinian relations, several Palestinian political experts have expressed doubts about the decision. Political analyst Dianna Buttu told Mondoweiss, “His statements made headlines, but that’s all they are, headlines”.

Palestinian scholar, Dr Yara Hawari, claimed in an interview with Mondoweiss, that Abbas’s statements are too vague. She noted that “First of all, annulling all agreements with Israel is not possible.” She further stated that the unclear nature of his statement, caused confusion about the agreements which are in question; “Was he talking about Oslo? About cancelling security coordination with Israel, the Paris protocols? Abbas has no interest in doing that,” Hawari said.

When considering the past announcement of Abbas towards the halt of security cooperation between Israel and Palestine, the effectiveness of his recent decisions is in heavy doubt. 

Abbas, for example, threatened to freeze the security cooperation in 2017 and 2018, which eventually had no consequences for the bilateral security cooperation.

With regards to this, it seems questionable if his statements will have consequences. Especially, under the light of the words of an anonymous Israeli security source, which told Al-Monitor that the “network of security coordination” between the PA and Israel has never been better.

Furthermore, the arrest of Alaa Bashir, a Quran teacher, last week, which was made possible with Israeli information, is another sign for the continued close security cooperation between Israel and Palestine.

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