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PLO condemns Israeli decision to end talks, UN envoy supports unity
Published Thursday 24/04/2014 (updated) 28/04/2014 09:45
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Palestinians gather to celebrate the agreement to form a unity
government in Gaza City, on April 23, 2014.(AFP/Mahmud Hams)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Palestine Liberation Organization on Thursday condemned Israel's decision to withdraw from peace negotiations earlier in the day as "blatantly disingenuous," saying that the decision shows a "lack of commitment" toward peace.

The statement comes as the UN special envoy for negotiations "welcomed" word of the Palestinian unity deal, which Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas assured him would entail the honoring of previous PLO commitments including the recognition of Israel.

The executive committee of the PLO said in a statement that Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu's "announcement to end negotiations only reaffirms his lack of commitment towards a just settlement and the two-state solution."

The PLO also accused the Israeli government of "persistently trying to sabotage international and Palestinian efforts to achieve an agreement" by breaking its commitments, particularly through the "killing of Palestinians, settlement construction, home demolitions, and the siege over Gaza and over occupied East Jerusalem."

"Trying to blame President Abbas for Israel's decision to end negotiations is simply an absurd excuse for a government that places settlements and colonial expansion as priorities over peace," the PLO said.

The PLO added that despite being "legitimate and legal," Palestinian unity was considered a "threat" by Netanyahu and his "extremist government coalition" because it is "a step that takes us closer to inclusiveness, freedom and independence."

Executive committee member Hanan Ashrawi said in the statement that the "national reconciliation and negotiations are not mutually exclusive but are rather mandatory steps in order to achieve a just and lasting peace based on international law."

She added that the "terms of the national reconciliation agreement are clear: Palestine honors its commitments, respects international law and continues its popular nonviolent resistance against the Israeli occupation."

The statement comes hours after Israel announced that it would be suspending its participation in peace talks with the Palestinians which have been ongoing since July in protest against a national reconciliation agreement between the Fatah-led PLO and Hamas that was announced on Wednesday.

The agreement brought to end seven years of Palestinian political division, but Israeli authorities said they would refuse to negotiate with Hamas, which they say refuses to recognize Israel.

'Only way to reunite West Bank and Gaza'

The United Nations special coordinator for the peace process Robert Serry said in a statement on Thursday, however, that Abbas had promised the unity agreement would be implemented "on the basis of the PLO commitments," including "recognition of Israel, non-violence, and adherence to previous agreements."

Serry said that he "welcomed" the national reconciliation agreement, stressing that it was the "only way to reunite the West Bank and Gaza under one legitimate Palestinian Authority."

The statement followed a meeting with Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas in which the UN "confirmed support for unity" on the basis of the Palestinians' "continued commitment to peace negotiations and to non-violent popular protests," which Abbas assured him would be a part of the unity deal.

Although Hamas has historically taken a strong stance against negotiations with Israel under present circumstances, it has previously said that it would be willing to accept a two-state solution on the 1967 borders.

Israel, however, considers the Palestinian political party -- which has controlled the Gaza Strip since clashes with Fatah a year after Hamas won elections over the entire Palestinian territories -- of being a "terrorist" organization.
1 ) Outlier / USA
24/04/2014 23:42
Actions often result in consequences. Was the PLO expecting a smile and an "attaboy?"

2 ) jesse / usa
24/04/2014 23:57
should Israel be expected to work with a government that includes hamas? how can Israel negotiate with people who want to kill them? who are a declared terrorist group? perhaps once the government is formed Israel can talk to a geniuine PEACE MAKING party.

3 ) Jewel / Netherlands
25/04/2014 00:00
Hope so that this difficult step will make clear to the world that the unification of the both political groups of Palestines is just a signal to form a real democratic country with as well right wings as left wings in its own government. The right that Israel has also! Now is shown Israel always used the "devide and rule" policy and is not committed to peace at all!

4 ) Tobias / USA
25/04/2014 01:48
The situation of politics and lying is almost a joke, where: - After several years of the PLO essentially refusing to talk, unless Israel surrenders to their pre-condition demands, - Now the PLO condemns an Israeli decision to end talks, after the PLO merges with Hamas, a group committed to destroying Israel.

5 ) JoeUSA / USA
25/04/2014 03:05
Most people in the world view USA's policy in the Middle East as Terroristic.

6 ) Malone / Hfx
25/04/2014 03:19
Anybody that thinks will happen is naive and delusional....more lies...what's new?

7 ) Patrick O'Shaughnessy / Ireland
25/04/2014 14:24
With major figures congratulating the brave move by Hamas & Fatah to reconcile, Israel walks away from the peace talks. Picking up from another post, British & Irish people lived through the troubles, but British Gov chose to talk to the IRA. Result, years later Martin McGuiness attends the Queen's banquet at Windsor, how good is that! Maybe Israel should ask itself why Hamas fought back, whether resistance is terrorism & whether they (Erez) might like to look at the British/Irish model (cont)

8 ) Patrick O'Shaughnessy / Ireland
25/04/2014 14:32
(cont) to see how lasting peace was achieved for people on both sides of the conflict. As Sheik Yassin said, Hamas fights Israel because they took their land, it has nothing to do with being 'Jewish'. It would appear that the reconciliation took part on the understanding that all parties endeavour to establish a unified Palestinian State & peaceful co existence with their neighbours. The road to peace has been a long time coming, but maybe with help & support it could finally become a reality.

9 ) Patrick O'Shaughnessy / Ireland
25/04/2014 15:11
Sorry, typo (reading too many books with Hebrew names in them), I meant to say "...whether they Israel..." (not: "...whether they (Erez) ...") might like to look at the British/Irish model...

10 ) @ Pat-7 / USA
25/04/2014 15:54
I agree with you, that like the British and Irish,
* ISRAEL SHOULD not only accept talking with Hamas, it should
* JUST LIKE WITH THE PLO, which began with
- the PLO recognizing the State of Israel, and
- the PLO promising to end "Incitement of Violence", "Armed Resistance", "Terrorism", and calls for "Israel's Destruction".

11 ) @ Pat-8 / USA (cont.)
25/04/2014 16:08
- Hamas fights because Islam can never accept peace with Jewish state,
being back on it's Ancestral, Biblical, Jewish Homeland.
- Israel did NOT "take their land", instead
- Muslims attempted taking Jewish land, by rejecting the UN Partition Plan (#181) in 1948, and their own Armistice Agreements in 1967, and FYI
- the so-called & claimed "1967 Borders" were part of Jordan & Egypt, but never a "State of Palestine", so they were never "Palestinian Land".

12 ) JoeFattal / USA
25/04/2014 19:18
If anyone read the article in the "Chicago Sun-Times .com. The headlines read. "Israeli leaders find an excuse to stop the talks". Isn't that the truth.

13 ) Patrick Hashitsky / Dublin
25/04/2014 20:15
What nonsense. Hamas will kill off the PLO. All Netanyahu has to do is pull Israel's security from keeping Abass alive!!

14 ) Omar Muhktar / M.East
25/04/2014 21:53
10/11 - Much of what you have stated is contested history. Whether the land was called Egypt, Palestine, Jordan, or X State, the people who lived on it had an identity, which they themselves defined. Just like the immigrants who came, eventually got 78% of the land, yet comprised only 30% ish of the population. Fair? However, the issue now is to end the conflict & seek resolution. This can only be achieved by sitting down & talking. Even if they start poles apart, they may then be able to move

15 ) Omar Muhktar / M.East
25/04/2014 22:03
further towards the centre. If the answers were already there, no one would need to negotiate. The only way to go forward is to put aside hatred & recriminations, & bring everything out into the open in a controlled environment. In the Middle East people with grievances get together & keep talking & shouting, until they both reach an acceptable solution. By the way, sweeping generalisations about Islam are just plain stupid & won't get you chutzpah points, Muslims are more resilient than that!

16 ) johnl / phil
26/04/2014 14:18
the unity among palestinians lead to palestine independence thats way israel and its allies opposed it. viva palestine

17 ) @ Omar-14 / USA
26/04/2014 16:53
I, most of the international community, and the State of Israel, all AGREE WITH YOU: -1- Let's forget the "history, what the land was called, the people's identity", and the (78 & 30) "Percentages" too, and -2- "The issue now is to end the conflict & seek resolution" !! However, since Israel can Not release any more murderers, and it also can Not (100%) halt construction either, after so many empty PLO promises, now - THE PLO MUST AGREE WITH YOU TOO (but they won't even talk) !!

18 ) @ Omar-15 / USA
26/04/2014 19:31
The Idea of "putting aside hatred & recriminations" is wonderful, and I join you in doing so. However, we should both also go "further towards" reality, and you may join me, in realizing and accepting, that * THERE WILL NEVER BE "A SOLUTION ACCEPTABLE TO BOTH", since: - 1967 "Borders", Arab Refugee Return, and Dividing Jerusalem Are Each Impossible For the State of Israel, and - Anything But All Three Is Impossible For Palestinians (or do you think that I got this last part wrong?) !!

19 ) Omar Mukhtar / M.East
26/04/2014 23:14
17/18 USA: This whole conflict is about what happened historically, hence the need for resistance movements to counter Israeli actions. However, being a fair person, let's agree to move forward from errors of the past & hypothetically formulate a path to resolution. The 'murderers' (resistance)in the case of war & under the Geneva Conventions, would be classified as POW's, thereby bound to be released at the end of the conflict (when peace is declared) or during progressive negotiations` (cont)

20 ) Omar Mukhtar / M.East
26/04/2014 23:17
as a good will gesture. Israel already has so much land, it could easily halt settlement construction, to ensure the talks continue. As to 1967 Borders, ROR & E.Jerusalem, I believe, although I am no legal exert, that the Palestinians are not asking for anything extra here. As far as I understand the 1949 Armistice Line is the border, ROR is enshrined in a UN resolution & the annexation of E. Jerusalem is illegal.

21 ) Omar Mukhtar / M.East
26/04/2014 23:18
The big issue for Israel is that it wants to maintain its ‘Jewish State’, which is mere syntax unless it seeks to define semantically what it means. Issue for Palestinians is that those still in afore mentioned state will be treated as first class citizens. ROR persons could get an equitable offer to Palestine & compensation. Big plus for Israel is that if peace achieved it gets lots of family members & ME families are big! Peace, trade & prosperity!

22 ) Omar Mukhtar / M.East
26/04/2014 23:21
The issue is Isreal’s paranoia, because it knows it has been attacked in the past. However, think why. Remember that when plan Zion first came into being, the Palestinians actually welcomed & helped the Zionists settle onto their land. Not all bad, Arabs have hearts! Consider going forward & you may be surprised. Road may not be easy, but may not be so tough either. Do it Middle Eastern style, talk, shout & come together to make peace.

23 ) John / USA
27/04/2014 02:40
Certainly Yahoo's excuse to walk away is disingenuous but he may not get a better one and the only thing Abbas has is his ability to keep both the talks and his post spinning. So it was time to get out while the getting is good. Congress can count on its constituencies not grasping the disingenuousness. The only thing that can change this now is if Obama uses one of his nuclear options; either expose congress or make the pilgrimage himself.
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