Palestinian Authority vows to wage ‘diplomatic intifada’ against Israel

From Israel Hayom:

Palestinian Authority has “lost confidence in the Americans as objective mediators” in the peace process, top Abbas aide says PA is determined to “isolate Israel [diplomatically] and make it as difficult for it as possible under international law.”

The Palestinian Authority is “pessimistic” about the United States’ ability to reignite the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process, senior Palestinian officials said Wednesday.

U.S. Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt is expected to visit Israel and the Palestinian Authority in the coming weeks to promote the peace talks, which collapsed in 2014.

Arab media on Wednesday quoted several Palestinian officials, including chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, as saying the U.S.’s efforts are “redundant” because the Palestinians “have lost confidence in the Americans as objective mediators.”

Moreover, the Palestinians claim that both American and Israeli officials have essentially agreed that a peace process based on the two-state solution “no longer exists.”

A senior official in Abbas’ office said that the Palestinian president was “deeply disappointed” with Washington’s position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, adding that the overall sentiment in Ramallah was that U.S. President Donald Trump’s envoys to the Middle East were biased against the Palestinians and in favor of Israel.

“Washington cannot be an objective mediator. The administration is totally biased in favor of Israel,” a senior Palestinian official said, adding that in the wake of Ramallah’s lack of confidence in the chances of a renewed peace process, the Palestinians plan to refocus their efforts in the international arena.

The Palestinian Authority plans to resume its appeal to the International Court of Justice in The Hague, where it plans to claim that senior Israeli leaders and military officers have allegedly committed war crimes, he said, adding that the PA would further pursue joining international organizations — a process that Abbas suspended when Trump was elected U.S. president.

Pledging to wage a “diplomatic intifada” against Israel, the official said the Palestinian Authority was determined to “isolate Israel [diplomatically] and make it as difficult for it as possible under international law.”

Commenting on the Palestinian Authority’s security collaboration with Israel, suspended during the Temple Mount crisis and resumed two weeks ago, Palestinian defense official confirmed coordination has been resumed, but stressed it was minimal.

“There is collaboration on specific issues. Right now, we are not pursuing full security coordination, not even gradually,” one Palestinian defense official said.

Another senior official noted that the Temple Mount crisis and the volatile atmosphere of the past few weeks have caused “deep distrust” between the Palestinian Authority and Israel.

“In order to renew the diplomatic negotiations the parties must first rebuild trust. The message that will be conveyed to the American delegation is that Israel must first and foremost pursue confidence-building measures vis-a-vis Abu Mazen [Abbas] and the Palestinian Authority, and the Americans will have to guarantee that they are objective mediators and that they will adhere to the two-state vision.

“This is not the situation right now, and we will not stand for it,” he said.

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