Ar­gu­ments rage over fu­ture of Pales­tinian Author­ity

Arab News - - News Middle East - Hazem Balousha Gaza City

As the Pales­tinian lead­er­ship in Ra­mal­lah con­sid­ers how to re­spond to the Is­raeli an­nex­a­tion plan, lead­ing fig­ures have in­sisted that the dis­so­lu­tion of the Pales­tinian Author­ity (PA) is not an op­tion, as the PA rep­re­sents “a na­tional achieve­ment and the nu­cleus of the fu­ture Pales­tinian state.”

Na­bil Shaath, the per­sonal rep­re­sen­ta­tive of Pres­i­dent Mah­moud Ab­bas and his ad­viser on in­ter­na­tional re­la­tions who was one of the ar­chi­tects of the Oslo Ac­cords that set up the Pales­tinian Author­ity in 1993, is con­sid­ered one of the Pales­tinian lead­ers most com­mit­ted to the sur­vival of PA.

Asked if the lead­er­ship was con­sid­er­ing dis­solv­ing the PA, Shaath said: “This op­tion is un­ac­cept­able and we do not think about it at all. What is re­quired in­stead is to work to strengthen it vis-a-vis the United States and Is­rael.”

The an­nex­a­tion was ap­proved by plan, which the Is­raeli

BACK­GROUND Na­bil Shaath did not rule out the out­break of a new in­tifada as one of the Pales­tinian tools to counter Is­rael’s an­nex­a­tion plan.

gov­ern­ment with Amer­i­can sup­port, tar­gets about 30 per­cent of the West Bank. An­a­lysts say it would to­tally destroy the “two-state so­lu­tion” and the Pales­tinian dream of es­tab­lish­ing an in­de­pen­dent state on the ter­ri­to­ries oc­cu­pied in 1967.

Shaath be­lieved that the Pales­tinian peo­ple have many other tools at their dis­posal to re­spond to the plan.

“With the de­ci­sion to can­cel agree­ments with Is­rael and US, we as Pales­tini­ans en­tered a new stage of the strug­gle, which in­cludes the strug­gle to iso­late Is­rael in all in­ter­na­tional fo­rums and to pro­mote the boy­cott of Is­rael so it pays the price for its poli­cies of an­nex­a­tion,” he said. Shaath did not rule out the out­break of a new in­tifada as one of the Pales­tinian tools, and said if Is­rael in­sisted on its plan, which he de­scribed as “crim­i­nal colo­nial­ism,” there were no “rules for con­fronta­tion and re­sis­tance.”

He is bet­ting that White House for­eign pol­icy will change this year, with a Demo­crat vic­tory in the pres­i­den­tial elec­tions lead­ing to a re­jec­tion of Ne­tanyahu’s poli­cies.

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