Photo Credit: World Economic Forum via Wikimedia
(R to L) Benjamin Netanyahu with Yasser Arafat and Nabil Shaath

The PLO leadership is headed toward the option of imposing a multi-polar international framework based on international references and UN resolutions, stressing the position of the Palestinian Authority to refuse to accept the United States as a sponsor of the peace process, Nabil Shaath, advisor to Chairman Mahmoud Abbas said in an interview with the editorial board of Ma’an this weekend.

“But we need two or three years to impose this international framework on America,” Shaath explained.


“Even if Trump retracts his recent decision on Jerusalem, we are going to impose an international framework that would be a sponsor of any peace process or negotiations,” Shaath said, adding, “We demand that states recognize Palestine as a state under occupation. There are 12 countries that have not recognized us until now. In contrast, there are 138 countries that have.”

“The agenda of the leadership meeting scheduled for next Monday is clear,” Shaath stated. “It will discuss the issue of the international framework and address the Security Council, as well as seriously reconsider the Oslo agreement.”

“The Oslo agreement will be reconsidered, not necessarily canceled – parts of it can be reconsidered and the items that Israel does not implement will be reconsidered and we will not abide by them […] But the decision to cancel Oslo will not be decided in one meeting,” he said.

Under the Oslo Accords, the PA must maintain security coordination with the IDF in order to prevent acts of violence – as defined by Israel. Also, the Paris Protocol on Economic Relations that was signed in 1994 following Oslo, establishes the integration of the PA economy into the Israeli economy, through a customs union, with Israel controlling all the borders of the Palestinian Authority. The PA has no independent gates to the world economy.

Revoking the Oslo accords and its consequent agreements would surely result in an even greater Israeli military presence in the PA, and the possible collapse of the PA economic system as it now exists.

According to Omar Shaban (What it means to cancel Oslo, Brookings, 2015), “Cancelling the Oslo Accords would effectively remove the legal justification for the PA. Quite simply, it would mean dismantling the PA, laying off its employees, ending international funding, and nullifying the economic agreements between the PA and Israel as well as between the PA and many other countries around the world.

“It would also mean an end to security coordination between Israel and the PA, which would facilitate the return of the Israeli military to parts of the West Bank designated as Area ‘A.’ This would certainly lead to another intifada. Such an uprising would, in all likelihood, turn violent, given the enormous amount of weapons currently held by PA police and security personnel; and there would be no guarantee that these weapons would be kept out of the hands of the militant groups in the West Bank.”

Referring to the peace agreement which the United States described as the deal of the century, Shaath said, “If the agreement provides for a state on the 1967 borders and Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine and applies the international resolutions, we will accept them, but I do not imagine that Trump is presenting such an offer […] We prefer an international framework that sponsors peace.”

Shaath then promised, “We will go to the Security Council with a draft resolution against the United States and demand recognition of the state of Palestine.”

Of course, the United States is one of the five permanent members of the UNSC, with a veto power over all its decisions. What Shaath is promising, in effect, is yet another PLO publicity stunt, which would result in even more loss of life and impoverishment for their people.

So nothing has really changed.