Daily Israel Report

Abbas Threatens to 'Take Action' Against Israel if Talks Fail

Ahead of Kerry's visit, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas threatens to take unilateral action via international bodies if negotiations fail.
By Arutz Sheva Staff and AFP
First Publish: 12/3/2013, 4:10 PM

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas
Flash 90

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has warned that the PA will "take action" against Israel via international bodies if peace talks fail, ahead of a visit by US Secretary of State John Kerry.    

"The talks are going through great difficulties because of the obstacles created by Israel," Abbas told visiting Arab journalists late Monday at his headquarters in Ramallah.

"If we don't obtain our rights through negotiations, we have the right to go to international institutions," he said.    

"The commitment to refrain from action at the UN ends after the nine-month period agreed for talks."    

US-brokered peace talks, which resumed at the end of July after a three-year gap, have already begun to flounder as disputes continue over numerous core issues, such as PA demands for all Jews to be deported from any future "Palestinian State" in Judea and Samaria, as well as ongoing incitement against Israel.

The PA negotiating team has tendered its resignation in protest of Israeli construction in Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, but Abbas has yet to accept it.

Abbas' organization agreed to suspend action against Israel through international bodies for the duration of the talks, including at the United Nations, where they won non-member observer status in a symbolic General Assembly vote in November last year.    

Kerry is to return to the region on Wednesday for talks with Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on his eighth overnight visit to the region since he took office in February.   

It is his first visit since last month's faux pas, in which the US Secretary of State threatened a "third intifada", or terrorist campaign, against Israel should talks fail, eliciting angry responses from Israelis.

Meanwhile, Israel's own top diplomat will be flying to Washington later in the week to meet Kerry. Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman will will also be meeting with UN chief Ban Ki-Moon and addressing the Saban Center for Middle East Policy during his visit, according to reports.