Palestinians to redefine relationship with Israel, reject US-led peace talks

The Palestinian leadership will likely suspend recognition of Israel and reject US eligibility to oversee peace negotiations at upcoming PLO Executive Committee meeting.

By: Margot Dudkevitch

The Palestinian leadership intends to redefine its relationship with Israel and may even suspend its recognition of the Jewish State, Ahmad Majdalani a member of the PLO Executive Committee, told Voice of Palestine radio.

Details of the interview published by the official Palestinian website Wafa on Thursday quoted Majdalani as saying that “recognition could only be done between two states.” He said the Palestinian Authority (PA) was created to lead its people from occupation to independence and Palestinian statehood.

The most important recommendation will be to reject US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Majdalani said, stressing that the American administration is no longer qualified to oversee the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians. Trump’s announcement gives the Palestinians the right to search for an alternative process based on United Nations resolutions, he declared.

The PLO Executive Committee is due to convene on Saturday in Ramallah and is expected to adopt the recommendations, which will be submitted before the Central Council on Sunday.

The PA has often threatened to sever security ties with Israel, to which Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman responded said that Israel can cope without a working security arrangement with the Palestinians.

“We’ve managed for many years without security cooperation, we’ll manage now as well,” he asserted last summer, following  PA leader Mahmoud Abbas’ announcement that he would cancel security coordination with Israel.

The Israeli defense minister emphasized that the security coordination basically benefits the Palestinians.

Speaking at an event in Jerusalem last month, after a new threat from Abbas, Liberman said that the Palestinian leader would not be alive today if not for the security cooperation between Israel and the PA.