Abbas: We won't agree to expanded autonomy

PLO rejects any agreement with Israel that doesn't involve the establishment of a Palestinian state.

Dalit Halevi ,

Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas

The Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), which convened in Ramallah on Wednesday for a meeting headed by Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas, repeated its position that categorically rejects any interim agreements with Israel - including the establishment of a Palestinian state with temporary borders or expanded autonomy.

A statement issued following the meeting and quoted by the PA’s official Wafa news agency said that the PLO adheres to "international law, international legitimacy, the right of the Palestinian people to establish an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital and within the 1967 borders, and in resolving all final status issues based on the relevant decisions of the international institutions as a single source of legitimacy and within the framework of an international conference with full powers."

The PLO Executive Committee also called on the U.S. administration to immediately declare the adoption of a two-state solution based on the 1967 borders and to declare that “Israeli settlements” are illegal and destroy the peace process.

The PA insists that any peace agreement with Israel be based on the establishment of a Palestinian state. While the PA intends to flood Israel with so-called “Palestinian refugees” as part of an agreement, Abbas has stated several times that a future Palestinian state will be free of Jews.

The PLO statement comes amid continued efforts by the United States to resume stalled Israel-PA peace talks.

Trump’s senior advisor and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, has visited the region several times as part of the administration’s efforts to restart the talks.

Most recently, Kushner visited in late August and held meetings with both Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Abbas.

While Netanyahu thanked Trump and the delegation led by Kushner for their efforts to pursue peace and stability in the region, PA officials have expressed pessimism that Washington's peace efforts can bear fruit.