Abbas Drops Threat to Dismantle PA Over Stalled Israel Talks, Foreign Diplomats Say

The Associated Press obtains a letter the Palestinian Authority president is planning to deliver to Israel, with planned ultimatum to dismantle the PA removed from the text.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has dropped a planned threat to dismantle the Palestinian Authority in protest of the deadlock in peace efforts with Israel, foreign diplomats said on Thursday.

Abbas had been planning to deliver the threat in a letter to Israel. But, according to the letter obtained Thursday by The Associated Press, the language has been dropped from the text.

Mahmoud Abbas at the regional summit in Iraq last month.

The diplomats who provided the letter said Abbas scrapped the threat at the urging of President Barack Obama.

The diplomats spoke on condition of anonymity because the letter has not yet been sent.

The letter was leaked more than ten days after, Saeb Erekat asked for a meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu, but his request was denied. During the meeting, Erekat was to submit the letter to Netanyahu.

The letter was originally supposed to include an ultimatum on the part of the Palestinians, saying that if their demands were not met, they intended to turn to the international community, urge that Israel uphold international law, and demand that Israel take direct responsibility for the situation in the West Bank.

However, beacause of the heavy pressure exerted by U.S., the ultimatum was dropped. The current draft includes only the Palestinians core demands: 1967 borders as a framework for negotiations, a settlement freeze, the release of prisoners, and a section that was added later to the letter: a demand to end IDF operations in West Bank Area A .

Dismantling the Western-backed Palestinian Authority has always been considered  the Palestinians last-resort. The move would mean the end of peace efforts and force Israel to take responsibility for the well-being of several million Palestinians.

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