Abbas: Shutting Down PA 'Out of the Question'

PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas said Monday despite his complaint that Israel has 'robbed' the PA of its 'raison d’etre' that it would continue on

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Gabe Kahn,

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas
Israel news photo: Flash 90

PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Monday clarified that he has no intention of dissolving the Palestinian Authority.

Abbas' remarks came one day before a senior delegation from Ramallah delivers a letter from Abbas to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“There are many reasons which have contributed to the weakening of the Palestinian Authority, but its dissolution is out of the question,” Abbas told the Arabic daily Al-Ayyam.

It was reported earlier on Monday that Abbas' letter included the charge that Israel had stripped the PA of its “raison d’etre.”

"As a result of actions taken by successive Israeli governments, the Palestinian National Authority no longer has any authority, and no meaningful jurisdiction in the political, economic, territorial and security spheres,” he wrote.

The letter will be personally delivered to Netanyahu by PA prime minister Salam Fayyad when they meet in Jerusalem on Tuesday.

Fayyad will be accompanied by PLO chief negotiator Saeb Erakat and PLO secretary general Yasser Abed Rabbo.

An earlier draft of the letter reportedly included threats to dismantle the PA and turn the entire responsibility for the occupied territories over to Israel.

But all such references have been removed following personal pressure from US President Barack Obama.

Nevertheless, Netanyahu's office has responded to rhetoric from PA leaders indicating they would shut down their administration by saying it "wouldn't be the end of the world."

Israeli officials also charge that continued PA preconditions for talks serve as  a fait accompli designed to forestall talks which would require Abbas and his confederates to make hard compromises they have not prepared their constituents for.

Abbas' letter will reportedly repeat his preconditions that Israel accept the indefensible pre-1967 lines as a future PA state's borders, release all Arab terrorists from its jails, and stop construction in the 'disputed territories.'

Israeli officials, who say they are ready to resume talks immediately without preconditions from either side, note that a previous 10-month building freeze aimed at meeting PA demands was rebuffed and aswered not only with more preconditions - but a unilateral bid for statehood in violation of the 1993 Oslo Accords as well.

In December 2011, PLO leaders adopted  "a strategy based on continuous efforts along with the international community to secure full recognition and full United Nations membership, pursuing internal reconciliation, and keeping up the popular resistance."

Netanyahu is also said to be preparing his own letter for Abbas, which will be handed over by Israel’s chief negotiator Yitzhak Molcho in the coming weeks. He is expected to flatly reject Abbas' preconditions for talks.