Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) chairman Mahmoud Abbas is allegedly set to tell the United Nations General Assembly this month the Palestinian Authority is no longer bound by the internationally-recognized Oslo Accords signed with Israel.
PLO executive committee member Ahmad Majdalani was quoted by the Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency on Monday as saying, “The Palestinian leadership has decided to terminate the Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip known as the Oslo Accords II, which was signed in Taba on September 28, 1995.
“In light of the lack of commitment by Israel, the Palestinian leadership has decided that it isn’t bound by the agreement anymore and president Abbas will announce that before the UN General Assembly.”
Future actions will be decided by a committee of the Palestinian National Council, he said. It was for the upcoming meeting of the PNC on Sept. 14-15 the decision on Oslo II had been made by a preparatory committee.
Oslo II reaffirms the “mutual commitment” of Israel and the Palestinian Authority to act in accordance with the agreement “efficiently and effectively against acts or threats of terrorism, violence or incitement, whether committed by Palestinians or Israelis.”
The official did not offer any information about what would become of security cooperation between the Palestinian Authority and Israel.
However, according to the report “the Ramallah leadership has decided to make the PNC a Palestinian parliament and the PLO Executive Committee a Palestinian government.”
What it really means is, the PA is on the threshold of reconfiguring its government structure and leadership -- and those who lead in future may not consider themselves bound by the promises of the past. This is precisely why it is not possible to ever rely on any agreement signed with the Palestinian Authority, the Palestine Liberation Organization, or any other entity comprised of Palestinian Arab leadership.
The Palestinian Authority has in any case from the outset never once made good on this part of the deal. More to the point, the Ramallah government has assiduously sponsored media incitement against Israel. It has also faithfully paid the salaries of convicted terrorists who slaughter Israelis – the longer the prison sentence and more depraved the murders, the higher the fee paid to the family of the inmate.
Meanwhile, foreign aid begged from the United States, the European Union and other nations continues to flow into the coffers of the "cash-strapped" entity.
But this latest move by the PA evade its international responsibilities comes on the tails of a report that PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas, who is nearing age 80, is in increasingly poor health. This time it's not about money. It's about leadership, for real.
Abbas has already overstayed his four-year term in the PA chairman’s seat by six years and leads the government’s ruling Fatah faction as well the PLO.
For an elderly man in failing health, he is a pretty busy guy. But even Abbas knows his time is limited: If he wants his people to survive his eventual demise, he must plan now for their future leadership.
He therefore is moving his pieces around the chessboard, trying to see who fits where best.
But if Abbas were smart, he might do them a bigger and better favor by sweeping all of those players off the chessboard, and instead allow the local leaders and security teams to sit down with their Jewish neighbors over a cup of Turkish coffee instead.