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Abu Sitta: The PA is harmed by the revival of the PLO

March 2, 2017 at 1:15 pm

Dr Salman Abu Sitta addresses the delegates at the Palestinians Abroad conference in Istanbul, Turkey on February 25, 2017 [Middle East Monitor]

The head of the general committee for the National Conference for Palestinians Abroad, Salman Abu Sitta, criticised the Oslo Accords and considered it more dangerous to the Palestinian people than the Balfour Declaration, which he said the Conference would be demanding an apology for in the British House of Commons.

In his appearance on Al Jazeera’s “Without Borders” television show yesterday, Abu Sitta said: “The Oslo Accords were the biggest catastrophe for the Palestinian people. It made us hostages and slaves to the occupation. It shrunk Palestine into a fifth of its territory, it killed the PLO, which represents 13 million Palestinians, and it established the PA that rules 2 million Palestinians under occupation.”

Abu Sitta added: “We do not recognise the Oslo Accords and its consequences,” stressing that there is no eternal or holy agreement, and that it can be revoked via legal bodies after the establishment of true and complete representation for the Palestinian people in the PLO.

Istanbul conference

On the National Conference for Palestinians Abroad held in Istanbul over the weekend, Abu Sitta said: “All of those participating in the conference came to express their right to be members of the PNC according to the PLO system.”

He considered the Istanbul conference to have a position in the Palestinian cause, awakening it from a 40-year slumber. He hoped that every Palestinian would join the conference and its committees, as well as contribute to returning their seized land.

Read: Conference for Palestinians Abroad kicks off in Istanbul

“We are a people with homeland and we must have a national committee,” Abu Sitta said.

Abu Sitta said that the PA feared the conference because it destroyed the PLO, and the revival of the PLO would harm it.


 Abu Sitta explained that the attendees at the conference want to elect the PNC, which has not convened in a free country since 1988, and wanted to be a part of the committee.

He described the current committee as having no legitimacy. It is supposed to convene annually in accordance with the constitution, and it consists of unions that have not held elections for 30 years.

He noted that he called the chairman of the PNC, Salim Zanoun, and urged him to activate the committee.

Abu Sitta denied that the conference is an alternate entity to the PLO, saying: “We are not a replacement for the PLO and we have the same programme as the PLO.”

On the ways to achieve their programme, he said: “We will work on this by reinforcing our presence in all the countries of the world and forming working committees that would fill the vacuum left by the absence of the PLO.”

“We will also increase the number of those working with us both inside and outside of Palestine and put pressure on the Arab, European, and international community to give every Palestinian the right to join the PLO, to elect and be elected.”

With regards to the conference’s funding, he said: “We do not have millions and all the conferences we held over the past 20 years are funded by personal efforts and donations from within our communities. Everyone who attended the conference in Istanbul paid for their ticket.”