Palestinian Central Council Decides to Suspend Security Coordination With Israel

The decision will be enacted only if approved by the Palestine Liberation Organization’s executive committee, the highest-level Palestinian political body

Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury
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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas attends the Palestinian Central Council (PLO) meeting in Ramallah, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, February 6, 2022
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas attends the Palestinian Central Council (PLO) meeting in Ramallah, in the West Bank, February 6, 2022.Credit: Palestinian President's Office
Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury

The Palestinian Central Council ended its first convention in four years on Wednesday by deciding to suspend security coordination with Israel, though it remains unlikely that the declaration will go into effect.

According to the resolution, the Palestine Liberation Organization, the Palestinian umbrella organization, will freeze its recognition of Israel and all its agreements with it, until Israel recognizes a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders.

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Such resolutions will be enacted only if approved by the PLO’s executive committee, the highest-level Palestinian political body.

When the council last met in January 2018, the same decision was made, but it was never implemented.

A senior Palestinian official told Haaretz that it is unclear whether the decision will materialize, noting that the Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and other senior officials, including security apparatus members, will likely continue to meet their Israeli counterparts. He noted that Palestinians are largely unmoved by the declaration.

Council member Azzam al-Ahmad said that the resolution was voted in after numerous debates. He added that Palestinians reject so-called “economic peace” as an alternative to a diplomatic process geared towards the establishment of a Palestinian state, in line with the opinion of the international community.

The council meeting, held in Ramallah from Sunday to Wednesday, also approved the appointment of Hussein al-Sheikh, the Civil Affairs Minister, as a member of the PLO’s executive committee to replace the late Saeb Erekat. Dr. Mohammad Mustafa, the president's economic adviser and one of his closest allies, was also appointed to the committee.

Hamas and Islamist Jihad turned down an invitation to attend the Central Council's session, which began on Sunday, saying Abbas had to institute power-sharing reforms first.

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