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Abbas: Israel has told us if we form a govt they will boycott PA
Published Saturday 31/05/2014 (updated) 02/06/2014 12:50
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RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday said that Israel had threatened to cut ties with the Palestinian Authority if the PLO and Hamas formed a government of national unity as they intend to, but that he was prepared to respond to the threats.

Abbas made the statements during a visit of French solidarity activists in Ramallah, after days of intense negotiations between the two largest Palestinian political parties regarding the make up of the national unity government they pledged to form on April 23.

During the statements, Abbas said that the national government should be formed by Monday, and would be "composed of independents and experts, not members of Fatah or Hamas or any other organization."

Abbas stressed that the PA was taking Israeli threats seriously and would be prepared to respond if Israel followed through and cut ties with the PA, which could potentially mean Israel's withholding of Palestinian tax revenues.

"We will take things step by step and we will not be the ones who initiative. We will respond against any action. When Israel decides to prevent us from (accessing) the money that it collects on our behalf -- as opposed to the three percent that it takes (currently) that is not their right -- we will have a response."

He also stressed that Israel had no reason to boycott the national unity government, as it would merely continue policies the existing policies of the Palestinian Authority.

"The policy of the (unity) government is our policy. ... The government will adopt (the policies) that we have adopted. The government recognizes the state of Israel. The government recognizes international law," he said.

"Where is the mistake that Israel is opposing this government for?"

"Israel wants to boycott us because we made an agreement with Hamas ... but Hamas is part of our people," he added.

Israel collects taxes on foreign imports and value added taxes on Israeli goods as part of a complex system of Israeli control over the Palestinian economy and all of its borders.

It is supposed to forward these taxes to the Palestinian Authority, but it frequently cuts these funds in the event of political disputes.

In mid-May, Israel announced it would begin a series of punitive economic measures in response to the Palestinian national reconciliation deal, including preventing Palestinian banks from making deposits in Israeli shekels.

The move is unprecedented and could have potentially disastrous on the Palestinian banking sector, which is structurally dependent on the Israeli banking system due to the occupation.
1 ) JoeFattal / USA
31/05/2014 22:30
Israel is not going to recognize the Palestinians recognizing the State of Israel, or even a Jewish State anyhow. It is but an excuse to maintain what they already have and expand what they don't have. If the Palestinians recognize Israel, Israel will find something else to derail the peace process. Its an ongoing situation that lasted for many years and will remain the same until either Israel accept peace or war.

2 ) Eko / UK
31/05/2014 23:25
Israel Saturday night rejected the first applications by three designated ministers from Gaza to cross over to the West Bank and reach Ramallah for the swearing-in ceremony of the Palestinian unity government. The Israeli government has made it clear that it will not accept this Palestinian government in the making, because it has taken as partner the Hamas terrorist group which dedicated to the Jewish state's destruction.

3 ) Abdullah / KSA
31/05/2014 23:54
Well said President Abbas, stand up to Israel. You have the right to form a unity government, Palestinians have the right to live free from occupation. Israel can choose recognise the new government & come back to negotiations, or you & the new government can move forward, sign the Rome Statute & take your case to the ICC. Simple.

4 ) Mel / USA
01/06/2014 00:01
Ooooo! Boo-hoo! Little ole'fascist Nazi Israel is going to "unfriend" the PA?
No more velvet-shackles or "Kibbles &Bits" treats for being a 'Good Arab'proxy. Not if they join the (grrrr)"bad Arab"Palestinian resistance & join the UNGA consensus which respects international law stating that ALL Palestine should be free. Not just token "free" for whichever faction is Zio-'Friend' of the season!With Zionism as "fwend"who needs enemies!

5 ) Pat / Ireland
01/06/2014 00:05
That is ironic I thought Israel did not like the practice of boycott. Go PA form that government asap.

6 ) d'Arc / USA
01/06/2014 00:23
The problem will occur with US aid and EU aid. The US Congress will be in a rush to crush and Unity government, like was done in 2006.

7 ) Outlier / USA
01/06/2014 02:43
It isn't Hamas that is the sticking point, but it is Hamas' charter. Palestinians will either demand Hamas revise the charter now or endure more years of delay as Israel narrows Palestinian options in a future peace settlement.

8 ) betz55 / USA
01/06/2014 05:22
GO PALESTINIANS GO !!!!! Come from a place of strength instead if fear. Let Israel cut its ties with you, it would be the best thing ever. Then go straight to the ICC. Enough BS from Israel. Proceed with focus and determination. The world is with you !!!!!!

9 ) How does unification with / HAMAS goingt
01/06/2014 09:12
to improve LIFE CONDITIONS for the Palestinian people? Will they get more donations? Will they get more support from other Arab nations? Will the Gazans improve relation with egypt? Will the WORLD BANK be more ready to give them loans? Will there be less attacks from Gaza? Will PLO take responsibility for ROCKETS fired from Gaza to Tel Aviv? so many questions that everyone chooses to IGNORE!

10 ) AKeenReader / UK
01/06/2014 09:16
Palestinians should continue with forming unity govt irrespective of Israeli objections. Let Israeli govt carry on barking like mad d*gs. Who cares as no one listens to them any more including the US!!!

11 ) Take my advice / USA
01/06/2014 17:03
Again just a note. If Israel is threatening to boycott the PA if the unity government is formed. I wonder what they will do if a Palestinian State is created. And now I believe we can see Israel intention for peace as usual is up to no good. Best bet for the Palestinians is to get done with it and take their case to the ICC if the unity is formed or not. Religiously and politically they can stand their ground.

12 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
01/06/2014 17:23
Why does anybody, especially Americans, care if there is a Palestine or not. Gaza is run by Hamas and famous for its lack of civil and human rights: journalists are routinely arrested without charge, newspapers are banned or blocked (like Maan just recently), Christians are oppressed and Palestinians are routinely arrested, beaten, put on secret trials and illegally executed without a chance to defend themselves. The world does not need another brutal Arab dictatorship called `palestine`.

13 ) Michael Collins / Eire
01/06/2014 18:41
@9 - Life now improves for Palestinians because their cause is one. Gaza always had good relations with Egypt (until Hamas got smeared), the Arab world supports Palestine, there have been virtually no rockets attacks for some time, Palestine is a good investment, 138 countries thought so at the UN vote. Question: when will US stop supporting Israeli occupation through funding & help Palestine move forward, by recognising new government & not cutting aid? Unification is a positive move for all.

14 ) Mel / USA
01/06/2014 22:20
#8:betz55/USA: Bravo! I agree.The best thing Palestine can do is UNITE &tell USG,US&Israeli Zionist apartheidists where to shove their "cheap treats"with HIGH HUMAN COST.That's so old/neo-colonial who on earth would VOLUNTEER to don the neck-yoke of oppressive occupation for another 7 decades,just for skinny fascist carrots on a a huge WHIPPING STICK! GO PALESTINE.It's going to be hard for a while,but freedom,dignity,identity is worth it,& WE ARE WITH YOU!

15 ) Outlier / USA
02/06/2014 17:57
9., HAhaha! "Gaza always had good relations with Egypt (untll Hamas got smeared)" Hamas didn't get smeared; they caused Egypt problems through illegal tunnel trade and support of Islamic extremists in Sinai and beyond. Now they are rightly suffering the consequences.
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