PA head Abbas is again threatening Israel and the US with doomsday scenarios if the diplomatic process does not develop as he desires.
Overshadowed by last week’s showdown between the US and North Korea, Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas issued an ominous warning in his address to the United Nations: With hopes running out for an independent Palestinian state, the Palestinian leader said he would unilaterally seek a single, binational state with Israel.
Abbas was a mastermind and negotiator of the historic Oslo peace accords of the 1990s — interim deals that set a five-year goal for reaching a final agreement. Since then, he has remained a vocal supporter of pursuing a negotiated peace agreement that would establish an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel.
But after nearly a quarter century of failed US-led peace efforts, the 82-year-old Abbas told the world body last Wednesday that time is running out as Israel is unwavering about its presence in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.
“The two-state solution is today in jeopardy,” he claimed, saying that the Palestinians will have to “look for alternatives” if the door is closed to independence.
“If the two-state solution were to be destroyed due to the creation of a one-state reality with two systems — apartheid,” he said, “this would be a failure, and neither you, nor we, will have any other choice but to continue the struggle and demand full, equal rights for all inhabitants of historic Palestine.”
Abbas has issued similar threats before.
The Palestinians are eagerly waiting for President Donald Trump to present his vision for peace, and are desperately seeking his endorsement of a two-state solution.
“President Abbas sent a direct message to the US administration, saying: Either you save the two-state solution or we are going to end up in one state where our people are going to ask for full rights,” said Mohammed Ishtayeh, a top adviser to Abbas.
A White House official said the administration understands the difficulties involved, but remains optimistic and is having “productive conversations with both sides.” The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was discussing behind-the-scenes diplomacy.
Netanyahu’s office referred to previous comments by the prime minister in which he stressed that it was important “that the Palestinians finally accept the Jewish state… and that Israel retain the right to the security control of the area west of the Jordan River,” without elaborating further.
Israel’s UN Ambassador, Danny Danon, last week said Abbas had “spread falsehoods.”
“Today’s lies and excuses have proven once again that the Palestinian leadership is a serial evader of peace,” he said.
The end of the Palestinian Authority?
It seems unlikely that Abbas will follow through on his warning. He controls a budget of hundreds of millions of dollars, tens of thousands of jobs and travels the world with VIP status. His aides admit there are no immediate plans to disband the internationally backed Palestinian Authority.
Palestinian officials say his speech was meant to rouse an international community that has stopped paying attention to them and to remind the world that the alternatives to inaction are worse.
“We told the Americans it’s the last chance for the two-state solution,” Ishtayeh said.
By: AP and World Israel News Staff