Palestinians Mull Plan for Day After Breakdown in Peace Talks

If talks fail, Abbas will turn to United Nations with unilateral actions, official tells Haaretz.

Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury

The Palestinian leadership met on Monday night to discuss scenarios in the event of a breakdown of talks with Israel, Haaretz has learned.

A senior Palestinian official said Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is intent on keeping to the timeframe allocated for the talks, but in the event that a deal is not reached, which could include an agreement to extend the deadline, the Palestinian leadership will have no option but to turn to unilateral actions at the United Nations.

In a speech in Ramallah on Saturday, Abbas said the negotiations are limited to nine months, after which the Palestinians are free of any obligations, hinting at the Palestinian promise not to pursue further international recognition in the Palestinian state while talks are in motion.

He added that if Israel insists on continuing with [settlement] construction and disregarding understandings, the Palestinians will be free to disregard those obligations.

Abbas also said that Jerusalem is the capital of the Palestinian state: Al-Quds [the Arabic name for Jerusalem] and everything that was conquered in the 1967 war is part of the Palestinian state. His words came following declarations by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, revealed in Haaretz on Friday, that he would not agree to any reference to Jerusalem in the framework document being drawn up by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

Meanwhile, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki said on Tuesday that Kerry stressed to supervisory committee of the Arab League that he is pressing on with the "framework agreement."

However, Kerry – who met the committee members in Paris - said that if his initiative fails he would not hesitate to point out those responsible for the breakdown of talks, and single out those who were cooperative and those who were not.

Malki, who gave an interview to the Palestinian daily Al-Ayyam, said that the Arab foreign ministers told Kerry they could not support a proposal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state or leave Jerusalem out of any future framework agreement.

Senior Palestinian officials told Haaretz that the position of the Arab foreign ministers was coordinated with the Palestinians before the meeting with Kerry. They added that Saudi Arabia and Jordan have also told Kerry they would not publicly cross Abbas, even though there was concern they would be swayed under American pressure.

Abbas addresses released Palestinian prisoners at Ramallah headquarters, August 14, 2013.Credit: AFP

Click the alert icon to follow topics:



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN


בנימין נתניהו השקת ספר

Netanyahu’s Israel Is About to Slam the Door on the Diaspora

עדי שטרן

Head of Israel’s Top Art Academy Leads a Quiet Revolution

Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

Skyscrapers in Ramat Gan and Tel Aviv.

Israel May Have Caught the Worst American Disease, New Research Shows

ג'אמיל דקוור

Why the Head of ACLU’s Human Rights Program Has Regrets About Emigrating From Israel


Netanyahu’s Election Win Dealt a Grievous Blow to Judaism