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FM: Israel would not dare to cancel Oslo deal

July 25, 2011 1:55 P.M. (Updated: July 26, 2011 11:22 P.M.)
ISTANBUL, Turkey (Ma'an) – Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Malki on Monday dismissed reports that Israel might revoke the Oslo Accords if Palestine sought UN membership in September.

"Tel Aviv will not dare to take that step because the world will defy that before the Palestinians do. This is just an attempt to weaken the spirit of Palestinian people and leaders and urge them to drop September's UN bid," Al-Malki told Ma'an.

He insisted that the Palestinian leadership would continue to pursue full membership of the UN and world recognition of Palestine as an independent state.

Israel and the US openly oppose the UN bid. The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported Monday that National Security Adviser Yaakov Amidror was considering voiding the Oslo Accords as one of several options to respond to a UN campaign by the PA.

Under the 1995 Oslo agreement, the PA has administrative and security control over around 17.2 percent of the West Bank, Area A. But Israeli military's frequent incursions into Area A have undermined the accords, which were intended as an interim agreement to lead to a permanent solution by 1999.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office confirmed the National Security Council was discussing several ways to respond to a UN campaign by the PA, Haaretz reported.

Palestinian ambassadors on Monday concluded a three-day meeting in Istanbul which focused on Palestine's bid for UN membership.

Palestinian officials unanimously agreed to outline plans for each continent instructing envoys on how to mobilize support for the UN campaign and which countries and organizations to focus on, Al-Malki said.

President Mahmoud Abbas attended the conference, and said Saturday that Israel had forced Palestinians to take their statehood campaign to the UN by refusing to end its occupation and settlement building.

"We are going to the United Nations because we are forced to, it is not a unilateral action," he said at a gathering attended by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

"We have not been able to return to negotiations with [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu because of his refusal to negotiate on the basis of the 1967 borders and to stop settlement."

"Our first, second and third choice is to return to negotiations," Abbas said.

The last round of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations collapsed in September shortly after Washington relaunched the first direct talks for nearly two years.

Palestinian negotiators withdrew from the talks over Netanyahu's refusal to extend a partial freeze on illegal Jewish-only settlement building on occupied Palestinian land.
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