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January 29, 2014 5:10 pm

Report: Europe Warns Palestinian Authority Against Rejecting Kerry Framework Peace Plan

avatar by Gidon Ben-Zvi

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry meets with PA President Abbas in May 2013. Photo: State Department.

Europe will not automatically continue to support the Palestinian Authority if the current U.S.-backed framework agreement talks with Israel fail, Israel’s Walla website reported on Wednesday.

European diplomats passed this message on to senior Palestinian Authority officials during closed-door conversations that were recently held in Ramallah, Walla said.

An evolution in the European attitude towards the Palestinian Authority could be detected in remarks made over the weekend by Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, according to the report. The leader of the Israeli delegation that’s currently negotiating with the Palestinian Authority said that PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s continued intransigence at the negotiating table will result in “the Palestinians paying the price.”

Livni’s statement was widely interpreted as her belief that the international community will blame the Palestinian Authority for the failure of peace talks, Walla said.

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Fear that the Palestinian Authority is on the verge of rejecting U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s framework agreement proposal and appealing directly to the United Nations for independence is the driving force behind Europe’s tough new approach towards Ramallah, Walla reported. European diplomats have thus tried to convince Palestinian Authority officials that turning to the UN would actually have the opposite of the PA’s desired effect, with the continent breaking up into two camps as a result: nations that support Israel and those that favor the Palestinian Authority.

Such a scenario would not only weaken overall European support for the Palestinian Authority’s position, it could even lead some governments to cut financial aid to Ramallah, Walla said.

Despite these developments, it would be far from accurate to assume that Europe is veering towards a pro-Israeli position, Walla said. An Israeli political source told the site that the “Europeans still give Abbas more credit than [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu and hold Israel responsible for the current stagnation in the negotiations. Above all, however, they support Kerry’s efforts. To them [the Europeans], saying ‘no’ to Kerry is the same as saying ‘no’ to Europe.”

As such, while there seems to be a temporary break from the European-Palestinian Authority diplomatic honeymoon, this does not connote a change in the continent’s position regarding Jewish communities located over the Green Line.  Governments across Europe continue to maintain that the settlement activity taking place during the framework agreement talks is causing substantial harm to the prospects of a peace plan being signed and implemented, Walla said.

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