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PLO: Israeli prime minister's 'games' are a distraction from peace process

May 31, 2017 2:42 P.M. (Updated: June 1, 2017 7:37 P.M.)
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at a meeting of the PLO Executive Committee in Ramallah on April 18, 2015 (AFP)
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) -- The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) has condemned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for his “games and maneuvers," affirming that Netanyahu's policies "will not deter the Palestinians from pursuing their final peace goals,” according to official Palestinian Authority-owned Wafa news agency.

According to Wafa
, the statement was released following a meeting held by the PLO's Executive Committee, the highest executive body of the PLO, in Ramallah on Tuesday evening.

The committee “affirmed its adherence to international law,” and reiterated its support of an independent Palestinian state along the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, “and the resolution of all permanent status issues (Jerusalem, borders, settlements, refugees, water, security and prisoners).”

Stressing the PLO's “absolute rejection” of the Israeli “apartheid regime” and control over the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem, and besieged Gaza Strip, the Executive Committee condemned the “continuation of colonial settler activities, creation of facts on the ground, assassinations, ethnic cleansing, house demolitions, confiscation of land and other practices.”

The committee slammed “the maneuvers and games of Benjamin Netanyahu and his government and their desperate attempts to divert attention away from their hostile expansionist and anti-peace policy by inventing crises with the Palestinian side to evade meeting the obligations of a political settlement of the conflict.”

The “games,” the committee said, consisted of “insisting on the Jewishness of the state and sometimes by trying to turn the Palestinian National Fund into a terrorist organization,” which the statement said was a “red line.”

The Executive Committee went on to call for an end to Palestinian national divisions and for the establishment of national reconciliation “through abrogating the administrative authority established by Hamas in Gaza and by allowing the national unity government to carry out its duties in the Gaza Strip,” referring to the Fatah-led PA as the “national unity government.”

The statement came amid continued tensions between Fatah and Hamas, the de facto authority of the Gaza Strip, with the two factions blaming each other for stalling the political reconciliation process between them.

Tensions have escalated in recent months over an ongoing electricity crisis in Gaza recently made worse by the announcement that the PA had requested that Israel reduce its supply of power; accusations of politically motivated arrests in both the West Bank and Gaza; PA-imposed cuts to the salaries of civil servants in Gaza; and the occurrence of local elections only in the West Bank, despite being boycotted by Hamas and other parties.

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