Abbas: Palestinian Authority Free to Take Unilateral Action if Prisoner Release Delayed
JNS.org – During his meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday night in Ramallah, Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas said the recently pitched U.S. security proposal—which allows for an Israel Defense Forces presence in the Jordan Valley for 10 years following the signing of a peace deal—”looks like a plan drafted by Israel,” a senior Palestinian official told Israel Hayom. The PA had already announced its rejection of the U.S. proposal.
The official said Abbas threatened that if there is a delay of the third phase of Israel’s planned release of 104 Palestinian terrorist prisoners, the PA would feel free to take unilateral steps through international organizations—something it agreed not to do before entering renewed Israeli-Palestinian conflict negotiations. The PA unilaterally sought United Nations statehood in 2011 and 2012, obtaining U.N. nonmember observer state status in 2012.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting with Kerry, Abbas said he would consider a one-month extension to the nine months originally allotted for negotiations with Israel, but not more than that. “All talk about an Israeli presence in the Jordan Valley is nonsense, because so long as there is an occupation army presence on Palestinian lands there will be no solution, and all settlements must be cleared off of Palestinian territory,” Abbas said.
With regards to an interim peace deal, Abbas said, “We are not ruling out implementing a final agreement in stages, but we will never accept a partial or interim deal.”