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Abbas: PLO to decide next week on security coordination with Israel

Jan. 6, 2016 7:23 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 7, 2016 4:30 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday announced that the PLO would officially make a decision next week regarding the upholding of contractual relations with Israel.

The president made the announcement during a speech delivered in the occupied West Bank town of Bethlehem during Orthodox Christmas celebrations.

Abbas reiterated past statements made by Palestinian political bodies supporting the end to agreements signed with Israel, notably the end of security coordination with Israel established through the Oslo Accords.

Despite threats made in September by the Palestinian president to renege from the agreements, moves have yet to be made to cut coordination with his Israeli counterparts.

“The Executive Committee and the Central Committee of the PLO as well as commanders of Palestinian Authority security services will hold meetings next week to give the final decision and we will adhere with whatever they decide,” Abbas said Wednesday.

The president also said that as the international community has convened to address conflicts in Syria and Libya, it should also convene to solve the problems of the Palestinians, adding that the status quo maintained since Israel’s military occupation began in 1967 must end.

“The Palestinian leadership won’t allow the status quo to continue,” Abbas said, calling for the removal of all settlements established in the occupied West Bank since 1967.

Abbas rejected that the PA was facing imminent collapse, in response to ongoing recent talks by Israeli leadership regarding the pressing possibility that the body could soon dissolve due to a wave of unrest, Palestine's economic crisis, and a political crisis in the Palestinian leadership.

“The PA is one of our accomplishments and let nobody dream of its collapse,” Abbas said.

The president's remarks come despite comments made by PLO Central Council member Muhammad Shtayyeh last month cautioning that the PA will face “extreme difficulty” in surviving the current situation for much longer.

Shtayyeh asked: “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?”

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.

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