Abbas Threatens to Disband PA if Peace Talks Don't Resume
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas threatened on Thursday that he will disband the PA unless there is Israeli movement toward renewing peace talks after Israel's elections on January 22, AFP reported.
Abbas said that if such a situation arises he will hand full responsibility for Judea and Samaria to the Israeli government.
"If there is no progress even after the election I will take the phone and call (Prime Minister Binyamin) Netanyahu," AFP quoted Abbas as having said during an interview with the Haaretz daily.
"I'll tell him...Sit in the chair here instead of me, take the keys, and you will be responsible for the Palestinian Authority."
"Once the new government in Israel is in place, Netanyahu will have to decide -- yes or no," Abbas told the newspaper.
Since Netanyahu was appointed Prime Minister in 2009, Abbas has refused to come to the negotiating table and has continuously tried to impose preconditions on talks.
Abbas is demanding that Israel accept the indefensible pre-1967 lines as final borders, release all Arab terrorists from its jails, and halt construction in Judea, Samaria and east Jerusalem for a second time before talks begin. At the same time, he has refused to recognize Israel’s right to exist.
Even when Israel imposed a ten-month freeze on Jewish construction in an attempt to bring Abbas back to the negotiating table, he refused, choosing instead to impose more preconditions.
In Thursday's interview Abbas reiterated those same preconditions once again, saying he would be willing to renew negotiations with Netanyahu after the election but would demand that Israel freeze further construction in Judea and Samaria while they are being held, renew the transfer of PA tax revenues that Israel has been withholding and release some 120 long-term PA prisoners.
The tax revenues were frozen in response to Abbas's unilateral move at the United Nations last month, where the PA was admitted as a non-member observer state. The unilateral move is a direct violation of the Oslo Accords.
"These are not preconditions, these are commitments Israel already took upon itself in the past," Abbas told Haaretz.
Abbas's comments come a week after officials in the PA threatened to take action against Israel if Netanyahu wins re-election in January.
A senior official in the PA said that if Netanyahu wins another term in office, the entity would take a series of measure in order to isolate Israel, including filing a complaint against Israel for war crimes at the International Criminal Court.
Besides going to the International Criminal Court, the PA is also examining the options of holding huge demonstrations against Israel in Judea and Samaria, ending the security cooperation with the IDF and demanding that the international community impose sanctions on Israel.