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Report: Israel may cancel Oslo Accords if UN bid adopted

Nov. 14, 2012 11:12 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 14, 2012 7:55 P.M.)
TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma'an) -- Israel will consider the full or partial cancellation of the Oslo Accords if the Palestinian bid for non-member status is adopted by the UN General Assembly later this month, Haaretz reported Wednesday.

Israeli diplomats have reportedly been instructed to brief the leaders of the countries in which they serve about the potential measures Israel will take if Palestine's status is upgraded to a non-member observer state, the Israeli daily said.

Israel's foreign ministry on Sunday sent a cable to Israeli diplomats asking ambassadors to "do all possible to halt the Palestinian initiative because of its far-reaching consequences," Haaretz said.

The cable was sent after three days of meetings in Vienna between Israel's controversial Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Israeli ambassadors to the EU.

Lieberman told them to respond harshly to the UN bid, including forcing the collapse of the Palestinian Authority.

The Moldova-born official also presented a series of punitive measures in response to the UN move, including stopping the transfer of tax money, canceling work permits for thousands of Palestinian laborers and canceling the Oslo Accords.

"The Palestinian resolution is a clear violation of the fundamental principle of negotiations," Roni Leshno-Yaar, head of Israel's foreign ministry division for international organizations, was quoted as saying by Haaretz.

"The adoption of the resolution will give Israel the right to re-evaluate previous agreements with the PLO and consider canceling them partially or completely, and would make progress in the peace process more difficult in the future," he added.

President Mahmoud Abbas told US President Barack Obama on Sunday he was intent on pressing ahead with a Palestinian bid for United Nations recognition as a non-member state, despite the US leader's objections.

Abbas's proposal, to be put to a vote in the General Assembly on Nov. 29, would implicitly recognize Palestinian statehood and could also grant access to bodies such as the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

The upgrade seems certain to win approval in any vote in the 193-nation General Assembly.

The Oslo Accords, signed Sept. 13, 1993, were meant to be an interim agreement leading to a final peace agreement and an independent Palestinian state within five years.

In September, Palestinian leaders called for a release from the Oslo Accords, on the 19th anniversary of the signing of the agreements.

"The interim agreements were supposed to last for five years. But what we see two decades later is apartheid rather than freedom and independence," PLO official Saeb Erekat said.

The Oslo Accords also outline security cooperation between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, which critics of the agreement say has been used to quash popular resistance in the West Bank.

Palestinian National Initiative leader Mustafa Barghouti told Ma'an on Wednesday that Palestinians "are tired of Oslo, we are tired of occupation ... and we are sick and tired of apartheid."

He said Israel had benefited from the Oslo Accords "more than anyone else" and insisted Palestinians were "determined to achieve a Palestinian state."
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