Hamas yesterday condemned the Palestinian Authority (PA)'s decision to withdraw a bill planned to be proposed to the UN Security Council against illegal Israeli settlement.
"The PA's withdrawal of the anti-settlement bill is considered a retreat for unguaranteed gains," member of Hamas' Political Bureau Basem Naim said in a statement.
"The PA cancelled an important legal step and reinstated security cooperation in return for tactical measures offered by the enemy – freezing settlement until the end of Ramadan."
Naim called for national action to remove the PA's leadership and replace it with one agreed upon by national consensus.
"It is time to reach a national agreement based on a national strategy, and rebuild the Palestinian political system based on goals to achieve the freedom, independence and return ambitions," he said.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) yesterday informed the UNSC of its decision to no longer call for a vote on a draft resolution against Israel's expansion of illegal settlements, agreeing with the Palestinian Authority (PA) to drop the opposition following intervention by the United States.
According to anonymous Israeli and US officials, if PA President Mahmoud Abbas promised not to turn to the United Nations to oppose Israel and its decision, Tel Aviv would freeze the settlement expansion plans it had announced. As part of the alleged deal, Israel also reportedly agreed to temporarily suspend unilateral actions in the occupied West Bank, such as the announcement of new settlement buildings for several months.
The demolitions of Palestinian homes and Palestinian evictions will also be suspended for a few months, and the number of Israeli military raids in Palestinian cities and camps will decrease.
Israel apparently also agreed to several economic steps to increase Palestinian tax revenues by over $60 million a year, and the PA agreed to start implementing the security plan put forward by the US to restore its control over the West Bank cities of Jenin and Nablus, as well as to start talks on resuming security coordination with Tel Aviv.
An official in the Israeli Prime Minister's office, however, has denied the significance of the deal, asserting: "There are no understandings. We finished all the building plans [for settlements] last week and had no intention of convening the committee to approve new ones in the next three months, anyway."
READ: UN Security Council denounces Israel in statement after US showdown averted