Ya'akov Amidror - Tomer Appelbaum - July 2011
Ya'akov Amidror Photo by Tomer Appelbaum
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A team headed by National Security Adviser Ya'akov Amidror is looking into calling off the Oslo Accords in response to the Palestinian Authority's unilateral plan to gain United Nations recognition for an independent state.

The Prime Minister's Bureau confirmed yesterday only that the NSC was discussing many alternatives ahead of September, and would be presenting them to the political echelon for a decision when it was done.

Israeli officials did confirm that recent discussions held by Amidror had mentioned the option of voiding the Oslo Accords. However, this is not considered a leading alternative, they said.

"It is one of the options that will be presented to the political echelon," a source said.

Meanwhile, the PA is continuing its preparations ahead of the UN General Assembly meeting in September. Palestinian ambassadors who met in Istanbul over the past two days were informed that a meeting on the final draft of the UN resolution would be held in Doha, Qatar, with representatives of the PA, Qatar, Egypt and Saudi Arabia on August 4.

The resolution will call on the United Nations to recognize a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders as a full UN member.

The Palestinian diplomats were instructed to launch a public relations campaign among international Jewish communities, in an attempt to explain the significance of the move.

Meanwhile, Israel is working to rally support from states to oppose the UN move. It is also making preparations for the "day after."

A senior Israeli official said that three weeks ago, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Amidror to start drafting day-after plans with other government bodies. These include recommending a potential Israeli political response.

Skirting the Security Council

Israeli officials believe the Palestinians will skirt the Security Council and will appeal directly to the General Assembly, in order to avoid a potential American veto. The Palestinian proposal is expected to receive the backing of more than 140 UN members.

Another senior Israel official noted that Amidror has started initial discussions at the NSC with representatives from the foreign, defense, finance, industry and trade, and justice ministries, as well as from the Israel Defense Forces Planning Bureau and the Military Advocate General's Department of International Law.

The NSC asked the various government offices to consider the implications of Israel announcing that it considers the Oslo Accords void due to the unilateral Palestinian move, should the General Assembly approve the bid.

Israel is concerned that the Palestinians may use the General Assembly resolution in order to launch a legal fight in the International Court at the Hague, or to try to alter the economic and security arrangements reached over the past 18 years.

NSC officials told representatives of the various government and military bodies that Israel would not initiate such a move, but may do so in response to the Palestinian actions. The various bodies were asked to present their views and legal opinions, and to offer possible responses. The matter has still not been discussed by the ministers.

"Netanyahu is opposed to actions such as annexing settlements to Israel in response to a Palestinian move at the UN," said an Israeli source familiar with the discussions. "Therefore, the NSC is evaluating other possibilities, one of them being voiding the Oslo Accords. In any case, there is no decision yet."

The Oslo Accords between Israel and the PLO were struck between 1993 and 1995, and are the legal framework for the relationship between Israel and the Palestinian Authority in matters including security, economy and infrastructure.

Doing away with the accords would require reexamining key issues, primarily the status of the PA in the West Bank.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman had mentioned doing away with the Oslo Accords during a meeting with European Union High Representative Catherine Ashton on June 17.

Even though Lieberman supports such a response to a unilateral Palestinian move, officials at the Foreign Ministry consider such action "counterproductive."