Abbas Calls Oslo Accords Dead

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President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority, second from right, addressing the Palestinian Central Council in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Sunday. (photo: Majdi Mohammed / Associated Press)

Palestinian Authority leader vows to reject any American role in peace talks.

By David Halbfiner | The New York Times | Jan 14, 2018


“The deal of the century is the slap of the century.”
— Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas


President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority said on Sunday that Israel had killed the Oslo Accords and angrily assailed the Trump administration over its handling of the conflict. He vowed to reject American leadership of any peace talks and urged Palestinians to reconsider their signed agreements with Israel.

“We will not accept for the U.S. to be a mediator, because after what they have done to us — a believer shall not be stung twice in the same place,” Mr. Abbas said.

“The deal of the century is the slap of the century,” he added, mocking the still-undefined peace initiative that the Trump administration has been working on and promoting in the region. “However, we’ll get back at them.”

Mr. Abbas, 82, stopped well short of embracing an alternative to a two-state solution, the project around which he has built his career. The number of Israelis and Palestinians who hold out hope that such a solution can be achieved is dwindling, but Mr. Abbas said nothing about abandoning it.

He also shied away from urging the kind of provocative acts, like ending the Palestinian Authority’s security cooperation with Israel or disbanding the authority itself, that could raise the costs of occupation for Israel and shake officials in Jerusalem and Washington.

Indeed, Mr. Abbas, who reaffirmed his commitment to nonviolence and stopping terrorism, seemed to hold out hope of a return to negotiations — but with someone other than the United States leading the way.

“Israel has killed Oslo. It has terminated Oslo,” Mr. Abbas said. “Now we are an authority without any authority, and an occupation without land, and we will not accept this.”

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