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Disputes over Palestinian Central Council’s Decisions Weaken their Impact

Disputes over Palestinian Central Council’s Decisions Weaken their Impact

Wednesday, 17 January, 2018 - 06:15
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas chairs a PLO meeting. (Reuters)

Disputes over the interpretation of the Palestinian Central Council’s decisions on Monday on suspending the Oslo Accords and recognizing Israel have weakened their impact and stirred criticism among various Palestinian faction.

The Palestinian Central Council is the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s (PLO) second highest decision-making body.

Officials from the Hamas Movement and the Islamic Jihad lashed out on Tuesday at the Central Council’s decisions and said they fell short of expectations because they were kept at the level of political operations.

The Popular Front, the second biggest PLO faction expressed its reservations on the decisions for adopting a “vague” policy.

A dispute over the terminology and explanations of the council’s decisions had emerged on Tuesday regarding whether to end the Oslo Accord or to consider the transitional phase as expired.

Another dispute emerged on whether to withdraw or suspend the recognition of Israel and other issues related to the image of the resistance and boycotting relations with the US.

However, Wasel Abu Youssef, a member of the PLO's Executive Committee, described the Council’s decisions as “advanced.”

He said those decisions were binding and will come into effect under the supervision of PLO Executive Committee, adding that some decisions need to be gradually implemented.

Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat, Abu Youssef said: “There are decisions that do not even need discussions. However, some issues should be subject to a phased implementation, such as the decision to suspend recognition of Israel and another that stipulates ending all cooperation with it, including economic agreements.”

The Central Council had decided on Monday to renew a previous decision to end security cooperation with Israel “in all its forms.”

A high-ranking source told Asharq Al-Awsat that the council’s decisions “will surely not be taken at one go. Annulling the economic agreements need a clear and studied plan.”

“We do not want any risks. We will start by putting plans before implementing those decisions little by little.”

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