Israel Pooh-Poohs PA Paris Protocol Ploy
Israel is not taking seriously the Palestinian Authority ploy to cancel the 1994 Paris Protocol economic agreement, signed as part of the Oslo Accords, AFP reported.
The PA’s Civil Affairs minister Hussein al-Sheikh said on Sunday that the Ramallah-based government led by Mahmoud Abbas made a formal request to Israel, carrying out Abbas’ boast last year that he would take the next in tearing apart the Oslo Accords.
The PA attempt to change the agreement in the wake of Arab social unrest is "not serious," an Israeli official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
Sheikh made his request through the Defense Ministry and not the Foreign Ministry, a tactic that proved the ploy was “not serious" and only an attempt to deflect public anger over the spiraling cost of living, the French news agency added.
"If they want to open the Paris Protocols, an international agreement, they should have submitted the request to the foreign ministry, or the finance ministry, or simply to the prime minister's office," the Israeli official said.
He pointed out that the Defense Ministry “certainly has no authority to negotiate on the issue” and added that the request for talks about the agreement was “overly general and not specific."
"They submitted the request only to be able to tell their public that they submitted the request: Look, we did something and now the Israelis are preventing it. If the cost living rises, it's the Israelis' fault," he said.
Re-opening the Paris protocols would require negotiations, something that Abbas has shunned for two years. “At this stage they are totally unwilling to show they are negotiating with Israel.” the official charged, explaining that for the Palestinian Authority, "negotiations are normalization, a prize for Israel, which hasn't frozen settlement activities and released all the prisoners."
Both issues are part of Abbas’ conditions for resuming what he calls “negotiations” that call for Israel to meet all of his territorial and political demands as outlined in the 2002 Saudi Arabia Peace Initiative.