Abbas Calls on International Community to Restrain Israel

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Palestinian protestors on the streets of East Jerusalem.Credit: AFP

Israel's pressure on the Palestinian Authority could lead to the Authority's loss of control over the Palestinian street, a senior Palestine Liberation Organization executive council official told Haaretz on Tuesday.

Consequently, the PA has appealed to the international community to rein in Israel and, in particular, to prevent an Israeli military operation.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas convened the PA leadership in emergency session on Tuesday evening, following the discovery of the bodies of the kidnapped teenagers and Israel’s threats of reprisal.

In talks with senior American and European officials, Arab diplomats, mainly from Egypt and Saudi Arabia, and the secretary general of the Arab League over the past two days, Abbas has appealed for intervention.

At the United Nations, Palestinian observer Riyad Mansour called on Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the president of the Security Council to intervene in what he called "Israeli aggression and the collective punishment" of the Palestinians.

Mansour said that “escalation and aggression will lead to increased tension and instability; a renewed spiral of violence will endanger the entire region." Seven Palestinians have been killed and 570 arrested amid serious breaches of human rights, Mansour said.

The Palestinians fear that increased Israeli pressure could boomerang against both themselves and Israel. Abbas has been dealing with intense internal criticism over his stance during the kidnapping and his statements last month to the foreign ministers of Muslim states in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, in which he ruled out a unilateral Palestinian declaration of independence.

So far, Abbas and other senior PA officials have refrained from addressing Fatah’s reconciliation with Hamas and the ramification of the events of the past few days, despite Hamas criticism.

Even Hamas has refrained from rushing to declare the reconciliation a failure. Senior Hamas official Salah al-Bardawil said on Tuesday that Hamas would not take any actions that undermine national unity.