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Palestinian Central Council votes to end recognition of Israel

By Brooks Hays
Palestinian Central Council votes to end recognition of Israel
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met with members of the Central Committee over the weekend. Photo by UPI Photo/Omar Rashidi/Palestinian President's Office | License Photo

Jan. 15 (UPI) -- The Palestinian Central Council has voted to end Palestine's recognition of Israel until Israel recognizes the Palestinian state. The central council also voted to cease security cooperation with Israel.

Members of the Palestine Liberation Organization's policy body met in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Monday to discuss how to respond to actions taken by Israel and the United States.

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PLO leaders are upset with President Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's official capital.

On Monday, the central council issued a statement backing Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas, who blamed Trump and Israel for undermining the peace process. Abbas also accused Trump of threatening to close the PLO's diplomatic outposts in Washington, D.C.

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"Today is the day that the Oslo Accords end. Israel killed them," Abbas said on Sunday, according to Haaretz. "We are an authority without any authority, and an occupation without any cost. Trump threatens to cut funding to the authority because negotiations have failed. When the hell did negotiations start?!"

The central council's latest statement echoed the speech made by Abbas over the weekend. The body said Trump and the United States could no longer serve as the mediator of peace negotiations between Palestine and Israel.

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"He's taken us hundreds of miles back," Qais Abd al-Karim, a Palestinian official who attended Monday's meeting, told the Washington Post. "The Trump decision on Jerusalem completely destroyed the immediate prospects of any peace process."

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The council also called for the nonviolent protest of Israel's occupation of Palestinian lands to continue with the financial and political support of other Arab nations.

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