|PA Pres. Abbas|
Will Palestinian Pres. Mahmoud Abbas take Yossi Beilin’s advice to dissolve the PA? An official letter from Abbas to Prime Minister Netanyahu seemed to hint at that possibility, but Abbas reportedly denies it. The letter itself speaks well for Abbas’ intention to forge a true peace with Israel. For example:
Our historic Peace Proposal is still waiting for an answer from Israel.
• We agreed to establish the State of Palestine on only 22% of the territory of historical Palestine-on all the Palestinian Territory occupied by Israel in 1967.
• The establishment of independent Palestinian State that can live side-by-side with the State of Israel in peace and security on the borders of 1967 with mutually agreed swaps equal in size and value.
• Security will be guaranteed by a third party accepted by both, to be deployed on the Palestinian side.
• A just and agreed resolution for the refugees’ problem as specified in the Arab Peace Initiative.
• Jerusalem will serve as a capital of two States. East Jerusalem capital of Palestine. West Jerusalem capital of Israel. Jerusalem as an open city can be the symbol of peace.
The Times of Israel has a leaked copy of the letter President Abbas has written to Prime Minister Netanyahu; in the letter, Abbas states, “Should the Government of Israel refuse to honor… above-referenced obligations we will seek the full and complete implementation of international law as it pertains to the powers and responsibilities of Israel as occupying power in all of the occupied Palestinian territory. For the Palestinian Authority—now stripped of all meaningful authority—cannot continue to honor agreements while Israel refuses to even acknowledge its commitments. The P.A. is no longer as was agreed and this situation cannot continue”:
An earlier draft of the letter had reportedly included threats to dismantle the Palestinian Authority and turn the entire responsibility for the occupied territories over to Israel, but these references have now been removed. Abbas assured press that he has no plans to dismantle the Palestinian Authority; although “there are many reasons which have contributed to the weakening of the Palestinian Authority,” he said, “its dissolution is out of the question.”
Prime Minister Salam Fayyad backed out of the Palestinian meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu in Jerusalem …; PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat headed the Palestinian delegation, presenting President Abbas’ letter to Netanyahu. While Haaretz reported that “the reason for Fayyad’s cancellation [was] apparently due to disagreements with Abbas over the letter,” Ma’an contended that Fayyad “was reluctant to engage with Israel on a day when more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners began a hunger strike in protest against their conditions in Israeli jails, senior Palestinian officials said.”