PLO to Urge Abbas to Redefine Ties With Israel

According to a senior PLO member, the new, mysterious, political program adopted by the Palestinian body deals with the entire spectrum of ties with Israel.

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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (C), joins a reading of the Koran prior to a meeting of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) executive committee in Ramallah, August 22, 2015.Credit: Reuters
Jack Khoury

The PLO's executive committee approved Wednesday night a new political program that could redefine the Palestinians' ties with Israel. The plan was drawn up by a special committee and submitted it to the executive committee in Ramallah for authorization and is said to stipulate wide-ranging changes in Israel-Palestinian releations, though few concrete details are known.

Executive committee member Dr. Mustafa Albargouti told Haaretz that the plan runs the gamut of political, diplomatic and economic issues, and would be implemented despite the freeze in relations with Israel. He didn't go into the plan's details, or when the recommendations will be implemented, but said that it would be a matter of weeks, should Palestinian President Abbas accept the recommendations.

Committee sources said that the plan contains a variety of recommendations that, if implemented, would lead to a substantial change in relations with Israel, including the Palestinian Authority's commitment to past agreements, security cooperation, and the status of the PA,

In a radio interview on Wednesday morning, committee member Jamil Magdalani said that the recommendations are based on decisions by the PLO's Assembly, which has decided in the past to withdraw from security cooperation with Israel, and the principles presented by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during his address to the UN General Assembly in September.

A senior Palestinian official who was involved in drawing up the recommendations told Haaretz that they make significant demands of Israel – demands that Israel is unlikely to even be willing to discuss.

A senior Palestinian official said Abbas would not make any concrete moves before hearing from U.S. officials about the results of next week’s meeting in Washington between U.S. President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

In addition, Abbas is due to meet in Cairo on Sunday with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi. Palestinian sources said that Abbas will not initiate any serious diplomatic move without an Arab diplomatic umbrella that includes Egypt.

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