Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas believes that halting agreements with
Israel will not affect Palestinians.
The PA decided on Saturday, August 3 to stop abiding by the 1995 Oslo II agreement with regard to the classification of areas in the West Bank at the administrative and security levels since Israel razed houses in Sur Baher village late last month.
The PA has formed a committee to study how to implement such a decision and it is expected that some decisions will be issued within days, according to Palestinian media.
Abbas said that the decision came during a cabinet meeting and was a result of Israel’s demolition of houses in Sur Baher village on the outskirts of East Jerusalem, as reported by local media.
Abbas described the demolition as “a violation of international legitimacy and agreements signed between us, an issue that can only be identified as a crime against humanity.”
The two governments have cooperated in different fields such as water and security, and withdrawing from such agreements could affect security in the West Bank.
“The occupation authority insists on neglecting all obligations of the signed agreements by proceeding with the killing and arresting of Palestinians and demolishing their houses, confiscating their lands, blocking their roads with hundreds of checkpoints, and building separation walls, thus weakening the unity of Palestinian territories by imposing a racist separation policy,” Abbas said.
The Palestinian president believes that the demolition of Sur Baher houses is a massacre, while Saeb Erekat, secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) executive committee, tweeted that the demolitions constitute a war crime.
Bassam Salhi, a member of the Palestinian committee commissioned to stop implementing agreements with Israel, said steps taken in this regard will not affect Palestinians. "The halting process will be enforced according to well-planned steps," Salhi, who is also a member of the PLO executive committee, told radio station Voice of Palestine.
Media outlet Xinhuanet reported that Voice of Palestine quoted Salhi as saying that the committee will be very careful when dealing with the issue in order to avoid any direct negative impact on Palestinians. Salhi noted that the Palestinian strategy is based on defying occupation through boosting popular resistance and will deal with the issues in a way that avoids any direct harm to the Palestinians.
The Palestinian strategy is based on "confronting occupation by enhancing Palestinian popular resistance and determination as well as ending the division once and for all," Salhi said.
Abbas has threatened several times in the past and on different occasions to annul all agreements with Israeli occupation forces. He blamed the US for supporting Israel and covering up all its violations.
Recently, mutual relations between Abbas and Israel have deteriorated and accordingly, Abbas stressed, “We will not give up on our aim or coexist with occupation. We insist on just and permanent peace.”
Last February, Israeli occupation forces cut $10 million per month from tax revenues it collects on behalf of the Palestinians, claiming that the PA pays this money to support terrorism, while the PA confirms that they are directed to families who have lost their main breadwinners. Currently, Abbas’s government is undergoing an economic crisis because the PA refused to take the $180 million in monthly tax revenues until the full amount is paid.
Most buildings which Israel flattened were under PA administrative control, most of which were still under construction. Property owners said they had received construction permits from the PA government in Ramallah.
During the annual conference of Socialist International (SI) hosted by Palestine in Ramallah, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh condemned Israel for destroying the two-state solution.
Israel has been left with two options under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s rule. “Either the two-state solution or the demographic death, either the two-state solution or no Jewish democratic state, either the two-state solution or no peace,” Palestinian News and Info Agency (Wafa) quoted Shtayyeh as saying, local media has reported.
Israel claimed that the demolition was “necessary” as the buildings violated a military order issued in 2011 that prohibited building in areas adjacent to security barriers.
Saeb Erekat, Secretary-General of the Palestinian Liberation Organization's (PLO) executive committee, told 7Dnews that Palestine’s stance should be supported by foreign countries. “The UK, Belgium, Switzerland have temporarily suspended their assistance to the UNRWA. Should not these countries suspend their special relations with the Israeli government, over home demolitions, settlements, collective punishment and real war crimes against Palestinian civilians?” Erekat asked.