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Fatah official: No plans to dismantle PA

Oct. 28, 2011 1:31 A.M. (Updated: Oct. 30, 2011 10:47 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Senior Fatah official Mahmoud al-Aloul told Ma'an on Friday that there is no plan to dismantle the Palestinian Authority.

The central committee member said officials were calling for a definition of the situation of the PA, and discussing plans to return it to its former stature.

"The government is in a bad situation and is looking for solutions, but not to dismantle (the PA)," al-Aloul said.

President Mahmoud Abbas said on Wednesday he would address the benefits of continuing the PA in discussions with Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal in early November.

"The Authority is not an authority. People and Palestinian institutions are asking me about the benefits of the continuation of the Authority (and) we want to answer this question," Abbas said in an address published on Thursday by the official news agency WAFA.

Hebrew-daily Maariv said Friday that the PA has developed a plan to dismantle the government within a few months, at the request of Abbas, including the transfer of total security responsibility to Israel.

But al-Aloul said such predictions were "untrue," as officials wanted to address dissatisfaction with the PA's position, but not take it apart.

Discussions included a number of views on the future of the PA, he clarified.

"Some consider international guardianship, others resisting the occupation, and others are looking for one state (a bi-national state in Israel and Palestine) ... others think of eradicating previous agreements (between Israelis and Palestinians, under which the PA was established)," the Fatah official said.

In the current climate of stalled talks, the PA is suffering and looking for ways out of the situation, he said, adding that President Mahmoud Abbas's bid for full Palestinian of the UN was one route to "restore the spark to the Palestinian cause."

"We will not be an authority without power," he said.

The PA was set up as a state-in-waiting 17 years ago but is now seen by critics as compromised body that eases the burden of occupation for Israel.

Today, its mandate is limited to disconnected patches of West Bank land encompassing the main cities, territory handed to the PA under interim peace agreements in the 1990s.
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