In what appears to be a challenge to his leadership, top officials of the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian Liberation (PLO) Organization terror group are demanding that PA chief Mahmoud Abbas make good on his declaration that the Oslo Accords are no longer binding.
Speaking on Palestinian radio Thursday, Rassan a-Shaka, a member of the PLO's administrative council, demanded that Abbas present a practical plan on disengaging from the Oslo Accords upon his return to Ramallah from New York.
On Wednesday, Abbas told the UN General Assembly that the PA was no longer “committed” to the Oslo Accords, the international treaty that the Authority owes its existence to.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu condemned the speech, saying that it “was deceitful and encourages incitement and lawlessness in the Middle East," before calling on Abbas to return to the negotiating table with Israel.
However, top PA officials were almost unanimous in their enthusiasm for Abbas's comments with numerous PA officials reportedly having contacted Abbas, demanding to know how he plans to actualize his threat.
An editorial in the Al-Quds newspaper Thursday said that Abbas's speech was “historic,” and now he had to follow through on it. Other PA newspapers also ran “man in the street” articles, demanding action as a follow-up to the comments.
Abbas did not specify in his UN speech how he plans to “disengage” from Israel. According to Israeli officials, Abbas is dependent on numerous forms of Israeli assistance, not the least of which is protecting him from Hamas.
Israel Radio noted that although Abbas's speech got top billing in PA media, it was virtually ignored in many of the major newspapers in the Arab world, including the London-based publications Al-Hayat and Al-Sharq al-Awsat, both considered reliable vehicles to gauge the opinion of the wealthy and dominant Arab and Gulf governments.
Commenting on Abbas's speech, Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said that it was “full of lies” that just “reused the old tactic of dumping the Palestinians' responsibilities on Israel."
"Without the cooperation of Israel in defense and other areas in Judea and Samaria, the PA would not survive, and instead would face the same fate it did in Gaza,” where Hamas has taken over and ousted the PA.