Palestinians mull breaking agreements

Oct. 24, 2010 at 7:27 AM
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RAMALLAH, West Bank, Oct. 24 (UPI) -- A senior Palestinian official warned the Palestinians may break their agreements with Israel if it continues with its current policies.

Yasser Abed Rabbo, the Palestinian Liberation Organization executive committee secretary, told Al-Hayat, London, it is inconceivable that one party is expected to honor its commitments while the other party continues to violate them.

"There are agreements between the PLO and Israel. One party cannot continue to be committed to these agreements forever while the other party violates them," he told the newspaper. "There may come a time, if the Israelis continue in the same policies, to reconsider these agreements."

The senior adviser to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas warned Palestinians cannot "remain committed to agreements that were signed with Israel forever."

"If we start negotiations without clear goals, then two months or two years or two decades will not be enough for the negotiations to reach their goal," he said.

He rejected Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's demands the P.A. recognize Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people, saying such requests are attempts to "legalize" the Jewish presence in Palestinian territories with the aim of turning the Palestinians into illegal residents.

The Palestinians recognized Israel when they signed the Oslo Accords in 1993, he said.

"We didn't get from Israel recognition of the Palestinian state and its borders. Unfortunately, our recognition (of Israel) was complete, while their recognition was partial and insufficient. This is the situation today and we must not repeat the mistakes of the past," he told the newspaper.

At Sunday's cabinet meeting, Netanyahu urged the Palestinians to refrain from taking unilateral steps toward declaring statehood, saying it will not help the peace process, Haaretz said.

"We expect the Palestinians to fulfill their commitment to hold the direct talks. I think that any attempt to circumvent them by going to international bodies is not realistic and it will not advance the real diplomatic process," he said, referring to recent statements by Palestinian leaders that they are considering asking the United Nations to assist in declaring a Palestinian state.

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