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Erekat: Israel doesn't abide by Oslo

Nov. 14, 2012 2:24 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 14, 2012 8:47 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israel does not abide by the Oslo Accords, PLO official Saeb Erekat said Wednesday, responding to reports Israel would cancel the 1993 agreement if the UN admits Palestine as a non-member state.

Israeli diplomats have warned governments around the world that Israel will consider full or partial cancellation of the Oslo Accords if the PLO's bid to upgrade its UN status is successful, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported Wednesday.

"Israel decided a long, long time ago that Oslo is no more," Erekat told Ma'an. "Israel is keeping an authority without authority and they want the occupation to be cost free," he said.

Under the Oslo Accords, the PA has control of less than 20 percent of the West Bank, Area A, but Israeli troops frequently enter the area without coordinating with Palestinian security forces.

"We are going to the UN to tell Israel that maintaining the status-quo is not possible. We believe this is the only way to preserve the two state solution," Erekat added.

The Oslo Accords were supposed to be interim agreements leading to an independent Palestinian state by 1999.

Critics say Israel selectively implements the accords, and that security cooperation outlined in the agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority 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."

Popular protests in the West Bank have increasingly called for the cancellation of the Oslo Accords, including its economic annex the Paris Protocol.

The PLO is likely to win a vote at the UN General Assembly later this month. The new status would allow Palestine to join the International Criminal Court where it could put Israel on trial for war crimes.

A PLO official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the UN bid was a "legitimate move" by the PLO. "We are not killing anyone."

He compared the diplomatic initiative to "taking Mike Tyson out of the boxing ring to play chess."
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