PLO suspends recognition of Israel

The Palestine Liberation Organisation’s (PLO) Central Council has voted to suspend its recognition of Israel and terminate all bilateral agreements until Israel recognises a Palestinian state within the pre-1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.

The PLO also called on the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) to cease security coordination with Israel and suspend economic ties as set out in the 1994 Paris Economic Protocol. The PLO statement read: “In view of Israel’s continued denial of the signed agreements, the PCC (PLO Central Council), in confirmation of its previous decision and considering that the transitional phase no longer exists, decides to end the commitments of the PLO and the Palestinian Authority towards its agreements with the occupying power.”

The PLO announced the decision late Monday at the end of a two-day meeting in Ramallah. A committee will now be created to examine the recommendation, which would also need the approval of PA President Mahmoud Abbas.

The PLO Central Council previously voted twice for the PA to suspend security coordination with Israel in 2015 and January 2018, but the decisions are not binding and Abbas has refrained from implementing them. The PA President said last week that he would not be able to sidestep Central Council decisions, calling the PLO body “the highest Palestinian authority”.

Education Minister Naftali Bennett said the Palestinians “have never been serious about recognising Israel,” adding that “they have always been planning to destroy Israel piece by piece and throw the Jews out of our land. The charade has ended”. In 1993 the PLO signed the Oslo Accords, in which they recognised the State of Israel.

The PLO Central Council has 130 members and is the second highest Palestinian decision making body after the Palestinian National Council. On 5 January 2013, it was announced that the PLO had delegated the duties of the PA’s government and parliament to the Central Council.