Reliable Palestinian sources have revealed that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is ready to drop the Oslo Accord, the Paris Protocol and security coordination with Israel. He made this momentous claim in a meeting of the PLO leadership in Ramallah. So keen was Abbas for the meeting to go ahead while the demonstrations against the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories were going on that he did not wait until he got back from a trip to India.
Abbas accused most of the PLO factions, especially Fatah, of “standing behind the demonstrations” which swept the West Bank recently in protest against the waves of prices rises; he refused to pin the blame solely on Hamas. He threatened to step down and make them go ahead with the legislative and presidential elections without him.
The sources quote one of the senior Fatah members who were present as saying that the meeting was “the most dangerous one” ever held by the leadership. They added that Abbas told those present at the meeting that “not only were the supporters of Hamas and the Islamic Jihad participating in the demonstrations, but also those who are sitting here at this table, the forefront of which are Fatah, the Popular and Democratic Fronts and the People’s Party”. Everyone, Abbas said, had operations rooms to stir the street “which is already festering”, and to raise the pace of popular anger.
Abbas expressed his deep anger at the demonstrators’ slogans calling for him and his Prime Minister Salam Fayyad to resign. He asked the meeting to find a solution immediately, including elections so that he can withdraw from his position and political life quietly.
Known as “the father of the Oslo Agreement”, Abbas expressed his frustration with Israel and the US administration. “The political prospect has been deadlocked since the re-election of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu,” he said. This has led to a financial blockade imposed on the PA, applied by the United States first, because of his refusal to return to the negotiating table. As such, Abbas claims that he is ready to drop the Oslo Accords, the Paris Economic Protocol and security coordination with Israel, and that he is ready to go to Netanyahu and tell him to cancel the agreements.
A debate took place at the meeting in which opposition to early elections was set out. Those present acknowledged that Oslo had damaged the Palestinians but said that it should just be dropped without going to Netanyahu; and there should be no negotiations over the Paris Protocol which is accepted widely as being biased towards the Israeli economy at the expense of the Palestinians. The Secretary-General of the People’s Party, Bassam Salhi, said that there are two options: either confrontation with the occupation, or bringing down the PA entirely. The dropping of Oslo, he argued, would mean the return of the occupation in all areas of life, “and this is not a solution, the main issue is to end the occupation”.