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Palestinian official threatens 'open conflict' with Israel

Israeli forces throw stones and aim their guns at Palestinians protesting against the construction of illegal settlements in Hebron, West Bank, on February 11, 2022 [Mamoun Wazwaz / Anadolu Agency]
Israeli forces throw stones and aim their guns at Palestinians protesting against the construction of illegal settlements in Hebron, West Bank, on February 11, 2022 [Mamoun Wazwaz / Anadolu Agency]

The head of the Palestinian National Council (PNC), Rawhi Fattouh, has threatened an "open conflict" with Israel, amid a deadlock in peace talks between Tel Aviv and the Palestinians.

Speaking on state television late Saturday, Fattouh said the international community has until September to respond to Palestinian demands and hold an international conference for the Middle East peacemaking.

"We will be absolved of all our commitments if the international community fails to respond and hold an international peace conference…and the conflict will be open," he said.

The PNC is the legislative body of the umbrella Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

On Wednesday, the Palestinian Central Council (PCC), a smaller assembly emanating from the PNC, suspended its recognition of Israel until Tel Aviv recognises a Palestinian state on the pre-1967 border.

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In a statement after its meetings in the West Bank city of Ramallah, the PCC said it decided to end its commitment to all agreements with Israel.

Fattouh said the PCC decisions will be implemented "gradually", without giving any further details. He cited that the PLO Executive Committee will hold an "important" meeting on Thursday.

In 1993, the PLO and Israel signed the Oslo Accords which gave Palestinians a form of self-rule. Years of peace negotiations between the two sides, however, failed to achieve the Palestinian goal of establishing an independent state.

US-sponsored peace talks collapsed in 2014 over Israel's refusal to halt settlement building and release Palestinians imprisoned before 1993.

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