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Palestinian Authority President Dissolves PLC

Palestinian Authority President Dissolves PLC

Sunday, 23 December, 2018 - 09:15
President Mahmoud Abbas, January 06, 2016 (File Photo: Reuters)

Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas said Saturday that the Palestinian Constitutional Court issued a decree to dissolve the Palestine Legislative Council (PLC).

Speaking at the opening remarks of the leadership meeting in Ramallah, Abbas said the leadership is committed to the Court’s decree, which also calls for holding legislative elections in six months.

Dissolving the PLC is a blow to Hamas, which has been in control of the Council for 11 years, after it imposed its control on Gaza Strip.

On national reconciliation, the President noted that the initiative on reconciliation has not received any response until now. He expressed appreciation for the Egyptian efforts to end the division, stressing that “we will not renege on what we agreed on in advance on reconciliation.”

“We do not accept that Hamas is accused of terrorism, it is part of the Palestinian people, but we have differences with it (Hamas) and this is a Palestinian issue.”

Abbas accused Hamas of carrying out a special project in Gaza, referring to a project to "establish a state in Gaza and autonomy in the West Bank." He also accused Hamas of provoking chaos in the West Bank.

"The Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, sends them the money and they send messengers in the West Bank, and we pay the price," he said.

The President also attacked the United States, reiterating that the authority said “no..and we will continue to say “no” to America and others.”

He warned that if Jerusalem is gone, there will be nothing left to talk about, asserting that Palestinians will “not stay silent and we will not accept that.”

“We will not sell Jerusalem, which will remain the eternal capital of the Palestinian people. We will continue to demand international protection of our people in international forums,” Abbas added.

He continued, “We will not allow the continuation of Israeli aggression, and we will not wait for what the United States claims to offer… We are still on our position rejecting dialogue with the US administration as a biased party.”

The President stressed that all attempts to tamper with Palestinian security will not deter the authority from confronting the “deal of the century.”

He informed the meeting that he had instructed Palestine's representative at the United Nations Riyad Mansour to submit applications for full membership and “provide international protection for our people.”

"Every month we will apply to the Security Council despite the US veto," he said.

Dissolving the Legislative Council was discussed at the last meeting of the Palestinian Central Council at the end of October, as one of the measures taken by the Authority against Hamas for not committing to the reconciliation.

Abbas's announcement to dissolve the Council came after the failure of the recent round of talks in Cairo.

After the failed talks, Fatah movement announced that it was taking decisions to undermine the “coup” authority in Gaza, in response to what it called “Hamas’ conditions” for reconciliation.

During its 30th session, the Central Council put the issue of "dissolving the Legislative Council" as an emergency item on the agenda following a recommendation by Fatah's Revolutionary Council.

The Revolutionary Council has established that the Central Council formed the National Authority in 1993. The Revolutionary Council unanimously recommended that "the Central Council dissolve the Legislative Council and call for general elections within a year.

The Palestinian law stipulates that the President of the Legislative Council will temporary be the Presidency of the Authority, in the event of any compulsory absence of the President for a period not exceeding 60 days during which presidential elections shall be held.

In 2004, when former President Yasser Arafat died, he was replaced by his successor, Rawhi Fattouh, before Palestinians elected Mahmoud Abbas.

However, now there is a legal and political dispute between Fatah and Hamas over the dissolved Legislative Council and its presidency. Hamas is not expected to accept Abbas's decision.

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