Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said that recent Central Council decisions have been taken in order to confront the difficult circumstances facing the Palestinian cause.
"We are meeting today to follow up the implementation of the resolutions and all the issues that have been entrusted to us by the Council," he said while chairing the first meeting of the Higher National Committee tasked with implementing the decisions of the Council.
Abbas asserted that the task is difficult given the most difficult and dangerous situation, but “we have the will to implement all decisions with all rationality and respect.”
The Central Council decided to end the obligations of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Palestinian Authority (PA) towards its agreements with Israel, “mainly suspending recognition of the State of Israel until its recognition of the State of Palestine on the 4 June 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.”
Consequently, the Council announced the cessation of security coordination in all its forms and economic disengagement on the grounds that the transitional phase, including the Paris Protocols, no longer exists.
Sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that the implementation of the decisions would be gradual rather than direct.
"The proposals on the table now are not to withdraw directly from the Oslo agreement, but to disengage from its obligations as Israel does,” indicated the sources, noting that discussions now include a plan that may last for a year or more for the implementation of the decisions.
The Council deemed the US administration a partner to the Israeli occupation government and part of the problem, not the solution. It stressed the continuation of the severing of relations and contacts with the administration until it rescinds its illegal decisions on Jerusalem, refugees and settlements and its position from the PLO.
In addition, the Council held Hamas fully responsible for the failure to comply with the implementation of all signed agreements, the latest of which was the agreement on October 12, 2017, which was ratified by all Palestinian factions on November 11, 2017.
The Council affirmed its commitment to fully implement these agreements under Egypt’s supervision.
The Council reaffirmed that the truce with Israel is the national responsibility of the PLO, not factions, as the sole and legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.
The Central Council stressed that addressing the situation in Gaza in all its aspects stems from the political efforts to end the division, achieving national reconciliation and rejecting proposals made under the name humanitarian projects and sea and airports outside the borders of Palestine.
Secretary General of the Executive Committee of PLO, Saeb Erekat, revealed that the Higher National Committee will start implementing all the decisions gradually and without exception.
The meeting of the Higher Committee shows the absolute seriousness the president attaches to starting implementation, he added.
Regarding the decisions on Israel and the implementation mechanism, Erekat said that there are “69 issues in Palestinian-Israeli relations, which resulted in eight signed agreements with Israel from 1993 until 1999. The committee is the one charged with taking into account all these issues and points.”
Erekat stated that the leadership seeks to preserve the Gaza Strip as a part of the Palestinian national territory and as an integral part of the territory of the occupied Palestinian state. However, Hamas’ methods reveal that it is leaning towards separation.
He called on the movement to implement the 2017 Cairo agreement, stressing that US President Donald Trump is now focused on separating the West Bank from Gaza through implementing the so-called “deal of the century.”
Meanwhile, Hamas described the Council’s decisions as mere media stunts, according to spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri.
He said that Abbas's decisions aim to cover his crimes against Gaza.
The movement described the Central Council as illegitimate and separatist, adding that it does not recognize its decisions.
In Israel, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon slammed the PA after the Central Council decided to suspend its recognition of Israel.
“This is a big mistake,” he said during a radio interview, adding: “Over the last year, Ramllah has become more and more extreme and is torpedoing any chance of an agreement. Their desire is to starve the Gaza Strip.”