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      Oren: PA Statehood Jeopardizes Oslo

      Israeli Ambassador to the United States says Israel has no agreements with a 'Government of Palestine.'
      By Gabe Kahn.
      First Publish: 8/31/2011, 8:58 PM

      Michael Oren
      Michael Oren
      Official Photo

      Israel's Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren said Tuesday the PA statehood bid at the United Nations would likely jeopardize all existing agreements between the PA and Israel.

      In an interview with Foreign Policy magazine, Oren said, "We have a lot of agreements with the Palestinian Authority, we have no agreements with a ‘Government of Palestine.'

      "It's just a fact – we have no agreements with a ‘Government of Palestine.' It puts us in a different realm," said Oren.

      Oren added the move would render invalid economic treaties, including export, import and water sharing, as well as security cooperation agreements.

      "America is a cosignatory to the Oslo Accord and this would seriously undermine it...Unilateral steps would have legal, economic, and political ramifications for us and for America as a cosignatory," Oren added.

      According to Oren, the statehood declaration will provide the Palestinian Authority with "lawfare" against Israel in the international arena, which will further diminish the chances for reaching a negotiated agreement.              

      "We want to be able to negotiate but we won't be able to negotiate if they are attacking our legitimacy in every international court. We're not going to negotiate under fire and it's a mistake for the Palestinians to think that we would," the ambassador said.

      Oren warned that in the absence of a negotiated solution, Israel's support for the creation of a PA state might be jeopardized. "The Palestinians risk all that has been achieved if they go forward with this ... and that would be a great tragedy."

      Oren's comments on the heels of Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz telling reporters the PA Statehood Bid was more dangerous than Hamas and would force Israel to "respond."

      Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has already said a unilateral declaration of statehood by the PA would render the Oslo Accords 'null and void' and would result in a 'diplomatic eye for an eye' on Israel's part.

      Earlier, Florida's Republican Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, announced she is advancing a measure to block US funding to any UN member or group that supports the PA bid.