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Abbas adviser: 'We won't work as employees for Israel'

Oct. 1, 2015 11:13 A.M. (Updated: Dec. 8, 2015 1:30 P.M.)
(AFP/File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- An adviser to President Mahmoud Abbas said Wednesday that while agreements with Israel had not been cancelled, the Palestinian Authority "won't comply" with previous accords, saying that “we won’t work as employees for Israel.”

Abbas said in hisUnited Nations General Assembly speech Wednesday thatthe PA's continued complicity with past peace agreements are dependent on circumstances which have not yet been clarified by Palestinian leadership.

While many understood the president's speech to be groundbreaking, no clear changes have been made in regards to security cooperation between the Palestinian Authority and Israel in occupied Palestinian territory.

Adviser and supreme judge for religious courts Mahmoud al-Habbash said that in his speech, Abbas began a new “stage in the relationship with Israel," adding the exact parameters of such a move remain unclear.

Abbas “told the world that from now on [PA] commitment to agreements would be bound by Israel’s commitment to the same agreements,” al-Habbash told Ma'an.

He emphasized that Israel had "in reality terminated the PA."

The PA -- set up as an interim government through the Oslo Accords -- is meant to have full control over Area A of the occupied West Bank, and was intended to take full control over the West Bank by the end of 1999.

Nearly two decades later, Israeli forces regularly enter these areas and work in coordination with the PA for security activity across the rest of the territory.

Al-Habbash said that the areas created by Oslo “do not exist anymore," and that Israel's failure to work in accordance with the agreements in effect made members of the PA workers for Israel.

Asked to elaborate about future steps by the PA to make good on Abbas' announcement that the body would step back from it's commitment to past peace agreements, al-Habbash said: “Future steps haven’t been made public yet."

"Each step," al-Habbash added, "will be determined according to the circumstances."

Al-Habbash said that Abbas' UNGA remarks would not be immediately implemented, and the leader would likely return to the occupied West Bank with the coordination with Israeli authorities.

He added that Abbas had coordinated his remarks at the UNGA with Arab countries before he delivered his speech.

‘Nothing more than words'

Following President Abbas’ UN speech, moderate Hamas leader Ghazi Hamad said: “No matter how powerful, eloquent and deep Abbas' speech was, it remains nothing more than words."

On his personal Facebook page, Hamad said that the international community had not been moved by the president’s speech, and that Israel would not stop settlement construction in occupied Palestinian territory despite the president’s professed “bombshell” dropped at the assembly.

Prior to the speech, Hamas urged Abbas to use the opportunity to officially call off all past agreements signed with Israel.

The movement, as well as other Palestinian factions, have made similar calls in the past.

Islamic Jihad leader Sheikh Nafeth Azzam said Wednesday that while Abbas' speech had positive points, it did not meet the expectations and aspirations of Palestinians.

The speech came as frustration continues to grow among Palestinians regarding the PA and alleged efforts toward ending the Israeli occupation.

Organizers of a recent poll by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research said last month that for the first time in its surveys a majority called for the dissolution of the PA.

Two decades after the Oslo accords, the Palestinian public sees the political process as having "failed," with statehood far from being achieved, said Palestinian political scientist George Giacaman.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu -- who has publicly denounced the possibility of an independent Palestinian state in the past -- meanwhile called Abbas’ UN speech “deceitful” and “inciting.”
Comments
Amin / Netherlands
“we won’t work as employees for Israel.” ...Ok, but make this believable by cancellation of all former Agreements with Palestine occupier Israel (incl. Oslo Accords).
01/10/2015 17:53
Lord Lucan / Lesotho
If these Arabs do not want to work for the Israelis - then sack them, and replace them with Chinese migrant workers.
01/10/2015 17:56
Colin Wright / USA
'We won't work as employees for Israel' Of course you won't. Israel has no intention of paying you.
01/10/2015 18:18
Outlier / USA
If they do not want to work with Israel, they should not. They may find the reality much less satisfying than the bravado.
01/10/2015 20:01
Jos� Maria Pereira Neves / Cabo Verde
Over 80,000 are employed by the PA, who is going to pay their unemployment benefits, pensions and wages?
01/10/2015 20:12
Tobias / USA
Individually, If I do not work, I will be free to starve, and
Collectively, If Palestinians will not work, they too will be free to starve !!
01/10/2015 21:34
james mason / usa
Sorry not employees, just sub-contractors.
02/10/2015 15:41
Joe / Aus
Few commentators have mistakenly understood what was meant in this article thinking its actually real work guys read again what has been written .
03/10/2015 23:25
joseph / australia
ma'am news must be in the israelis pocket if you show this on the internet?
05/10/2015 15:25
humzah / Palestine
PA and Hamas officials have a history of making bold sacrifices that only the people have to pay for while they enjoy their Aide funded luxury cars and mansions (I've seen them). I'm sorry but Palestinians who work in Israel are making very good money. Who are you to deny them that?
18/10/2015 10:42
joseph / australia
stop being employees of the usa, they dono't suport the palestinian dream of being free of the jewish chains.
25/10/2015 03:12
Mel / UK
Oh Pleeeeez ! Fatah now stands for Harakat al Tahrir al Fatah, only. It's sold Filistin to Erez Israel.
21/11/2015 10:57
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