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Official: PLO members consider disbanding PA

April 19, 2014 9:51 P.M. (Updated: April 21, 2014 11:04 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The PLO has been considering the option of disbanding the Palestinian Authority in response to the apparent failure of the current round of peace talks with Israel, a Palestinian official said Saturday.

PLO Executive Committee member Hanna Amira told Ma'an that there were "scenarios ... that could lead to the disbandment of the PA."

"The future of the PA has become unclear because when it was established, it was meant as a temporary stage leading to the establishment of a Palestinian state," Amira said.

"Thus, if the PA doesn't lead to statehood, things should be reviewed."

Amira's comments come after the Israeli daily newspaper Maariv quoted Abbas as threatening to disband the PA.

"I don't need Netanyahu. I don't need a chief of staff. Give me a junior officer or even a lieutenant and I will deliver the PA keys to him. Here you are, take charge and I will leave in an hour," Maariv quoted Abbas as saying.

Amira said that Abbas' words reflect the fact that the idea of disbanding the PA is being discussed among PLO committee members.

Separately, Amira told Ma'an that the PLO Central Council would hold an important meeting next Saturday.

"It will be a decisive session because it comes only two days before the agreed-upon nine-month round of talks (with Israel) comes to an end," he said.

Some critics of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations say that 20 years after the Oslo Accords, it is time to dismantle the PA and force Israel to take full responsibility for the territory it occupies.

Peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians were relaunched in July under the auspices of the US after nearly three years of impasse.

Israel's government has announced the construction of thousands of settler housing units and its army has killed over 60 Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza since the negotiations began.
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