PLO council votes to suspend recognition of state of Israel

PLO central council voted to halt all commitments to ‘occupation authorities’ until Israel recognises Palestinian state

The Palestine Liberation Organization’s central council has announced that it is suspending its recognition of the state of Israel.

In the decision, announced after a meeting late Monday, the PLO said it will halt all its commitments to the “occupation authorities” until Israel recognises a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

That includes security cooperations and trade agreements reached between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

While the central council’s decisions are not binding, it advises the PA on future policy decisions. PA President Mahmoud Abbas was present at the meeting.

The central council had previously, in 2015, called for ending security coordination with Israel.

It has tasked Abbas and the PLO Executive Committee with following up on Monday’s decisions.

The council also explicitly rebuked the Donald Trump-led peace process and his “Deal of the Century” plan to end the conflict.

“The committee lauded the efforts of the president (Abbas) … in continuing to reject the so-called Deal of the Century and confronting it with all available means to defeat it, as well as deeming the US administration a partner of the Israeli occupation government and a part of the problem, not the solution,” the official Palestinian news agency Wafa reported.

The council also hit out at Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, accusing the Islamist group of failing to live up to its commitment and the unity agreement that was signed in October of last year.

Abbas appeared to endorse Monday’s decisions, saying the time has come to put into actions previous measures approved by the central council.

According to a statement published by Wafa, Abbas called on Palestinians to unite behind the PLO as the “sole legitimate representatives” of the Palestinian people.

Amid mounting pressure from Washington to end Palestinian Authority’s public assistance to the families of prisoners and people killed by Israeli forces, Abbas said: “The allocations for our families and martyrs and the wounded are a red line; we cannot negotiate over their rights.”