Saturday, Aug. 24
Latest News
  1. Palestinian goverment: 26 million in development of ministries
  2. Rudeineh: Washington us unable to achieve anything by itself
  3. US: “No plan for unilateral annexation by Israel of the West Bank"
  4. Cluster of incendiary balloons land in southern Israel
  5. Palestinian FM condemns Germany's vote to define BDS as 'anti-Semitic'
  6. Israeli forces forcibly evict Muslim worshipers from Al-Aqsa
  7. Israeli forces detain 14-year-old Palestinian near Ramallah
  8. Erekat: Deviation from peace terms of reference doomed to fail
  9. Iceland's Hatari shocks Eurovision with Palestinian flags
  10. UNRWA: 4 Palestinian children killed in attack on Syria refugee camp

PA to face 'extreme difficulty' in surviving current political climate

Dec. 11, 2015 7:51 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 29, 2016 2:35 P.M.)
Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas attends the Eid al-Fitr prayer early on July 17, 2015 at the headquarters of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank city of Ramallah. (AFP/Abbas Momani, File)
By: Emily Mulder

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- The Palestinian Authority will face “extreme difficulty” in surviving the current situation in the occupied Palestinian territory for much longer, a member of the PLO Central Council and Fatah Central Committee said Thursday.

Speaking to journalists and local PLO officials in Beit Jala, Muhammad Shtayyeh said: “The question for us in leadership and for president Mahmoud Abbas: for how long can we maintain this situation?”

“If Israel is intending to kill teenagers everyday, who have a lack of means for living...with all of the aggression that Israel is employing, how long can the Palestinian leadership maintain this reality?” Shtayyeh continued.

The PLO official referred to the continuation of the PA as “unsustainable" amid the “political impasse” between Israel and the Palestinian leadership, as well as a lack of a political horizon among the Palestinian leadership itself.

“It is extremely difficult that the Palestinian Authority can survive this,” he said.

The council member said that while extremist groups have yet to take hold in the popular Palestinian public like they have in neighboring countries, such a reality could not be guaranteed if both the Israeli occupation and Palestinian political woes were not addressed.

“If today there is not one single Palestinian with Daesh or Al-Qaeda, can we really maintain this situation? I put this as a question mark and as a warning, this situation is very fragile,” Eshtayyeh said, using the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State group.

An escalation of violence that kicked off in October has left at least 118 Palestinians killed by Israeli military and settlers, and 19 Israelis killed in individual Palestinian attacks.

Palestinians living in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank have since come under harsh measures implemented by Israeli authorities who are allegedly attempting to curb violence.

Meanwhile, frustration has grown among Palestinians against their leadership, particularly members of the PA, who have maintained a relative quiet through the recent turmoil, and who many fear are on the brink of collapse.

Shtayyeh emphasized the necessity for Palestinian leaders to “bridge the gap between the Palestinian people and the Palestinian leadership” if the current situation is to improve.

'Putting the Palestinian house in order'

Amid efforts to address the fallout between the Palestinian public and its leadership, Shtayyeh said that the PLO Executive Committee -- in cooperation with Fatah’s Central Committee -- was taking measures to address the problems that lay before it.

Patching factional division as well as determining the PA’s next move in regards to upholding past agreements with Israel were among the issues that Shtayyeh put forth on Thursday.

“The Palestinian leadership is fully committed to putting the Palestinian house in order,” Eshtayyeh said.

After months of postponement, Shtayyeh announced that a session for the Palestinian National Council (PNC) -- the PLO’s legislative body -- is expected to be held within the coming three months.

The session will be open to Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) members from the Hamas and Islamic Jihad movements, the official said.

“Seventy-four members of Hamas in the PLC will automatically be members of the PNC, and will be invited,” Eshtayyeh said, adding that the PLO had not yet received an answer from the group or Islamic Jihad.

The announcement was the first since controversy erupted among Palestinian factions regarding the session in September.

The PNC was set to convene in September in order to elect a new PLO Executive Committee after 11 of the committee's members, including President Mahmoud Abbas, announced their resignation in August.

Hamas was among a number of Palestinian factions to condemn the plans, saying that changes to the national institution were being carried out unilaterally by Fatah.

The movement had earlier called on factions to boycott the PNC session -- saying that it was "tearing apart" national unity -- but a Hamas official later said that participation by the group was “important,” and that Hamas PLC members would be allowed to attend.

Exact laws regarding participation of PLC members in the PNC are a matter of debate among Palestinians.

The PLC -- the parliament of the Palestinian Authority that was created during the Oslo Accords -- has been defunct since the split of Fatah and Hamas in 2007. While Hamas makes up the majority of the PLC, several members have been detained or assassinated by Israeli forces.

Relations with Israel

Shtayyeh said at the press conference that a “Palestinian leadership meeting” would be held next week, referring to a joint meeting between the PLO Executive Committee and Fatah’s Central Committee.

The meeting will address the implementation of a proposal to renege from agreements signed with Israel -- specifically the Oslo Accords.

President Mahmoud Abbas in September said during an address to the UN General Assembly that the PA was no longer bound by the agreements due to Israel’s lack of commitment to the accords.

Abbas said at the time that Israel's refusal to release Palestinian prisoners as well as continued Jewish settlement activity in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem had destroyed the possibility of a Palestinian state.

"We therefore declare that we cannot continue to be bound by these agreements and that Israel must assume all of its responsibilities as an occupying power, because the status quo cannot continue and the decisions of the Palestinian Central Council last March are specific and binding."

The Central Council meeting had previously called for an end to security coordination with Israel as long as it continued to violate signed agreements.

Despite the call, no changes have since been made to security coordination between the PA and Israel.

Shtayyeh said that the meeting also anticipates planning concrete moves towards forming a UN resolution "related to settlements and international protection for the Palestinian people."
Most Read
Powered By: HTD Technologies
Ma'an News Agency
All rights reserved © 2005-2015