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Palestinian Central Council assigns PLO to suspend recognition of Israel – Arab-Israeli Conflict

PLO meeting

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas chairs a PLO meeting.
(photo credit: FADI AROURI/REUTERS)

The Palestinian Central Council, the Palestine Liberation Organization’s second highest decision-making body, decided to entrust the PLO Executive Committee with suspending recognition of Israel, according to a declaration issued at the conclusion of a Central Council meeting on Monday.

The PLO recognized Israel in 1993 before signing a number of agreements with Israel, which established the Palestinian Authority.

“[The Central Council] decided to assign the PLO Executive Committee with suspending recognition of Israel until Israel recognizes the State of Palestine along 1967 borders, annuls its annexation of east Jerusalem and halts settlement building,” the declaration said.

The declaration did not lay out a timetable for the PLO Executive Committee, an 18-member body made up of leaders of several Palestinian factions, to suspend the PLO’s recognition of Israel.

The Central Council also decided to renew a decision it made at a past meeting to end security cooperation with Israel “in all its forms.”

The last time the Central Council met in March 2015, it voted to suspend security coordination between the PA security forces and Israel.

For more than two years, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas made no move to halt security coordination, disregarding the PLO body’s vote.

However, in the summer of 2017, amid a dispute between Israel and the Palestinians regarding the Temple Mount, the PA president announced the suspension of security coordination.

But according to PA Police Chief Hazem Atallah, security coordination was never completely halted, and was fully restored in late October.

According to Israeli and Palestinian security officials, security coordination is key to maintaining stability in the West Bank.

Palestinian officials were not immediately available to comment on the Central Council’s decisions.

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