Daily Israel Report

PA Threatens 'Violence and Anarchy'

Officials in Ramallah say the rejection of PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas' statehood bid at the UN will plunge the region into chaos.
By Gabe Kahn.
First Publish: 11/11/2011, 11:53 AM

Saeb Erikat
Saeb Erikat
Flash 90

Palestinian Authority officials warned Thursday the region would descend into "violence and anarchy" because of the failure of PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas' statehood bid at the United Nations.

Officials in Ramallah refused to say what they were planning to do now that they have conceded the measure does not have sufficient support in the UN Security Council to be passed on to the General Assembly for a vote.

According to a Security Council subcommittee PA officials will not be able to muster the necessary 9 votes for approval. It also noted opposition from the US - who promised to veto the measure if the security council approved it - was insurmountable.

But PA officials have pushed forward anyway, demanding a vote hoping a propaganda victory with the necessary backing would demonstrate the US was isolated in its support of Israel.

However, diplomatic sources say a Security Council vote on the issue will not occur at that point – if at all. The Security Council, they say, could simply choose to discontinue consultations on the matter.

It remains unclear if the PA will now turn to the UN General Assembly and ask for observer status – a move they previously said was unacceptable.

Ramallah's frustrated threats come amid reports senior Fatah and PLO officials are debating the administrative body's future, with some saying it was time to shut down the PA and "throw the keys back at Israel."

Such a move, observers say, would be intended to pressure Israel into making radical concession in order to avoid taking responsibility for for affairs in enclaves currently administered by the PA. 

Israel successfully administered those areas from 1967 to 1993 with an across the board increase the standard of living, which has seen a downturn under the PA. A spokesman in Netanyahu's office said, while Israel does not want the PA to shut down, that such an outcome "wouldn't be the end of the world."

At the same time, Netanyahu's government reportedly lobbied US lawmakers to unfreeze $200 million in funds to the PA out of a fears its collapse will lead to Hamas replacing it. It has also been reported Israel may reverse a decision to freeze tax revenue payments to the PA for the same reason.

Amid the threats of "violence and anarchy" from Ramallah, the Quartet - the US, EU, UN, and Russia - plans to hold separate meetings with Israel and the PA on Monday.

However, PLO chief negotiator Saeb Erekat maintains the PA will not return to negotiations with Israel unless accepts the pre-1967 borders as a basis for a future Palestinian State and halts all construction in Judea, Samaria, and eastern Jerusalem.

Israel has said it will sit down to talks without preconditions, noting a previous 10-month building freeze by Israel aimed at meeting PA demands and restarting demands was rebuffed by Ramallah.

Not only were more preconditions added, officials in Jerusalem say, but the PA chose instead to violate the Oslo Accords and pursue its unilateral track at the United Nations.