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Palestinian leaders vote to end security coordination with Israel, a cornerstone of Oslo and the occupation

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Palestinian leaders decided Thursday night they will “end all forms of security coordination with Israel,” a much-criticized practice of shared policing across the West Bank and a staple of Israeli-Palestinian relations over the last two decades.  The announcement included one loophole that would allow Israel to salvage the security arrangement, a signal that the Palestinian leaders could be seeking to leverage Israel’s security concerns in order to get funds due to the Palestinian Authority that Israel has frozen.

In their statement, Palestinian leaders left open the possibility that security coordination could continue so long as Israel enforces all “signed agreements” with the Palestinians. Moreover, ending security coordination would not go into effect until at least three months from now, said Xavier Abu Eid, spokesman for the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

Palestinian leaders say Israel is in breach of the Oslo accords for withholding their import/export revenues, over $300 million since January. Israel froze the funds after the Palestinians joined the International Criminal Court (ICC), where they can charge Israel with war crimes.

For two decades, the security coordination has been a cornerstone of maintaining peace talks with Israel. Without these arrangements, the Palestinians could be inviting the Israeli army to re-occupy major Palestinian cities, though the leadership’s hope is that will not happen and ending security coordination will force Israel to make a firm decision on supporting an independent Palestinian state. The logic is, if Palestinian security forces refuse to cooperate with Israel and do not keep a lid on protests against the Israeli military and settlements, Israel must either accept the upheaval that Palestinian police have kept at bay or bring soldiers into the heart of the West Bank. The result could well be the start of a new Palestinian uprising, or Intifada.

Originally security coordination was considered a step in the transfer of power from Israel to the Palestinians. The slow withdrawal of Israeli soldiers in the West Bank would be accompanied by the increased presence of Palestinian security forces, trained by the U.S. and Britain, who would take over everything from traffic enforcement to preventing violent attacks against the Israeli military and civilians. The first stage was to deploy Palestinian forces to the cities, then the villages. The last step that never came to pass would see Palestinian armed troops guarding rural lands, as Israeli soldiers departed the West Bank permanently.

Breaking from the American negotiating framework

The decision to end security coordination was made in a meeting of the West Bank’s highest lawmaking body, the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s (PLO) Central Committee. Over the past decade this body of 124 representatives has de facto become the Palestinian legislative branch, as the official group is now defunct.

While the Palestinians did not set any specific terms for precisely how they will change their relationship with Israel, in the past leaders have hinted there are plans waiting in the drawer. A source in the Palestinian government told Mondoweiss that “before the decision was taken some governments contacted us to put pressure” on preventing the move, and indicated that the United States was one of those countries.

For West Bank Palestinians, security coordination is increasingly unpopular, as many feel the arrangement assists the Israeli military in control over the occupied territory. Palestinians often refer to it as a second occupation underneath Israel’s hand. Cutting ties with Israeli security forces was thought to be a last line of defense for the Palestinian government to secure a state based on the pre-June 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as a capital, and the right of return for Palestinian refugees based on United Nations resolutions.

The crux of the agreement is about Palestinian self-rule. Under the doctrine of security coordination Israeli forces cannot enter Area A of the West Bank, Palestinian urban centers. In exchange, Palestinian police will prevent its own population’s resistance movements and militias from reaching Israeli forces, as well as maintain general order and law. Israel has long been in noncompliance. Every week soldiers cascade from army bases across the West Bank to urban centers and refugee camps, outside of their Oslo-delineated areas of operation.

Palestinians feel that they never received the limited sovereignty promised to them for participating in security coordination. They think Israel alone has benefited from deal. Still security coordination has stood firm, despite increased tensions at the United Nations and the summer war in Gaza. As recently as last spring Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas had praised security coordination as “sacred,” when speaking to a group of 300 Israelis at the Muqata, the seat of government outside of Ramallah.

In addition to ending security coordination, the Palestinian leaders also announced they will join more international conventions and treaties, crossing yet another red line for Israel. In a statement released yesterday, the PLO made other moves: a renewed focus on preserving historical and religious sites in East Jerusalem in preparation for the city becoming a future capital of a Palestinian state, boycotts of Israeli goods, and the assumption of control over Hamas-run crossings into Gaza. The Palestinian leaders added in their statement that they “reject the jewishness [sic] of the Israeli state and the state with temporary borders” and reject all formulas that will keep Israeli military and settlements “on any part of the land of Palestine.” These are two points Israel sought to gain in the last round of negotiations brokered by Secretary of State John Kerry.

The PLO also accepted the Palestine National Initiative, a political party headed by Dr. Mustafa Barghouti associated with the non-violent protest movement, into the government.

Moreover, the PLO set new limitations to future resolutions brought before the Security Council. The new regulations state if the Palestinians return to the United Nations, a resolution must uphold “international decisions on the Palestinian cause and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict as well as a time limit for ending the Israeli occupation.”

Last December Palestine’s Arab partner sitting on the Security Council, Jordan, proposed a resolution to end Israel’s occupation by a specific deadline. The U.S. was harshly critical and voted against it. The resolution did not pass. Ambassador Samantha Power said she could not support “unconstructive deadlines that take no account of Israel’s legitimate security concerns.”

The PLO then said any new Security Council resolutions should be a product of an “international conference,” attended by Security Council members, an Arab committee, and BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa). The aim of this recommendation, and of balking at the U.S.’s red line on setting a timetable, is to shift the weight of future resolutions on Middle East peace away from the five permanent members of the Security Council. The Palestinians want to move their cause into the purview of the broader international community, where a higher percentage of countries are favorable to setting deadlines for Israel to end the occupation.

 

 

 

Allison Deger

Allison Deger is the Assistant Editor of Mondoweiss.net. Follow her on twitter at @allissoncd.

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64 Responses

  1. DoubleStandard on March 8, 2015, 12:52 pm

    I only read this briefly, but you should mention that security coordination continues despite this vote.

    Only Abbas has the power to call it off, and he won’t because it will mean the end of the Oslo Process and the end of his own power.

    • amigo on March 8, 2015, 1:33 pm

      “I only read this briefly, but you should mention that security coordination continues despite this vote.”DS

      You didn,t even read the second paragraph.Ziocaine has much to answer for.

      “In their statement, Palestinian leaders left open the possibility that security coordination could continue so long as Israel enforces all “signed agreements” with the Palestinians. Moreover, ending security coordination would not go into effect until at least three months from now, said Xavier Abu Eid, spokesman for the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). – ”

      Do you work for someone??. Poor guy/gal.

      • talknic on March 8, 2015, 7:24 pm

        +1

    • seafoid on March 8, 2015, 3:03 pm

      Oslo is dead anyway. The PA might well dissolve itself. Israel’s nightmare.

      • Blownaway on March 9, 2015, 12:16 am

        Not only is Oslo dead but according to Netanyahu so is the two state solution. He officially said the talk of a two state solution is no longer relevant in response to leaks about his alleged peace talks of 2013. I wonder how all those zio apologists and two state zionists are gonna spin that

      • Walid on March 9, 2015, 12:49 am

        Not only is Oslo dead but according to Netanyahu so is the two state solution. ”

        But President Abbas is saying that negotiations are not dead and Palestinians are still open to restart negotiations. The beat goes on and Palestinians keep sinking deeper and deeper.

    • talknic on March 8, 2015, 7:24 pm

      @ DoubleStandard
      “I only read this briefly,”

      Uh huh. Only as much as you’re allowed?

      “but you should mention that security coordination continues despite this vote “

      Uh huh. I wonder what this means then “Palestinian leaders left open the possibility that security coordination could continue so long as Israel enforces all “signed agreements” with the Palestinians ?

  2. seafoid on March 8, 2015, 1:14 pm

    Jewish settlers don’t deserve security paid for by Palestinians. The occupation should cost the parasites money. Israel never pays for anything.
    Living in YESHA is artificially cheap. Lovely suburban lifestyles on the back of Palestininan suffering.

    • John O on March 8, 2015, 1:19 pm
      • seafoid on March 8, 2015, 2:28 pm

        Ordinary israelis lose out in so many ways to YESHA – taxes, idf conscription, health and education spending, living in a pariah state – but they suck it all up thanks to the 24/7 bs about living in a jewish state. Not the first time in jewish history so many have sacrificed for a hardcore of blatant freeloaders.

      • echinococcus on March 8, 2015, 3:04 pm

        There is no unsubsidized Israeli

      • wondering jew on March 8, 2015, 4:55 pm

        seafoid “Not the first time in jewish history so many have sacrificed for a hardcore of blatant freeloaders.” Please offer one historical precedent, so that I know that you are talking rationally and usefully, rather than my fear that you are parroting antiJewish propaganda.

      • seafoid on March 9, 2015, 1:02 am

        Kastner and the Hungarian Jews, Yonah. A dreadful story.

      • Walid on March 9, 2015, 1:46 am

        “Kastner and the Hungarian Jews, Yonah. A dreadful story. ” (seafoid)

        I don’t think there will be a follow-up question.

      • Mooser on March 9, 2015, 11:31 am

        Yonah, how many times do I have to beg you? Check your shoes!
        Did you really think Jews would have a history unlike any other “people” in the world?

      • wondering jew on March 9, 2015, 7:45 pm

        Not the first time in jewish history so many have sacrificed for a hardcore of blatant freeloaders. – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/03/palestinian-coordination-cornerstone#comment-752605

        seafoid- Kastner and his negotiations and his agreement is a dark spot on Jewish history, as is any agreement reached between the Nazis and the judenrat’s. but these were not freeloaders. these were people who used their connections in order to survive a murderer and sacrificed the rest, so that they could survive. there was nothing free loader- ish about those that survived. it was purely an act to survive and to bring it up here in the context of Yesha is not appropriate. in fact it’s the analogy of a simplistic person.

    • seafoid on March 11, 2015, 8:15 am

      Yonah

      they did a deal with pure evil and sacrificed tens of thousands so they could go to Palestine.
      Did the sacrificed have any say in what happened ?

      Kastner was murdered in 1957 when the truth came out. Don’t spin it

      Jewish history is very sad in spots

      • wondering jew on March 11, 2015, 12:54 pm

        seafoid- To be very frank dealing with the specifics of the Kastner case is deeply troubling for me and i envy cold hearted people who probably have very little psychic energy involved in the genocide who can discuss this thing at the drop of the hat. Kastner’s sin was not the destination of the rescued Jews it was his abandonment of the others. Jewish history is very sad in spots and because this is an antiZionist site you can bring the topic up to make your analogies of questionable worth with impunity by the other commentators and even with encouragement from Walid in this case. i know you are devoted to the dismantling of Zionism and because Kastner was a Zionist he is as game as Dershowitz, say. but i have never heard an attempt by you to really deal with Jewish history on the grand scale other than as backdrop to your opposition to Zionism.

      • annie on March 11, 2015, 1:03 pm

        Kastner’s sin was not the destination of the rescued Jews it was his abandonment of the others.

        no it wasn’t. i would recommend you read the transcripts of the trial provided in the book perfidy, including the conclusions and condemnations of the judges as provided in the extensive footnotes. he didn’t just “abandon” others.

        it’s been a long time since then yonah, and although it may be “deeply troubling” for you personally, and there has been a concerted effort to present a competing narrative (which could have elements of truth) the history of the trial is documented and not in dispute. iow, you can interpret it however you want, but you can’t change the evidence, the testimony, or what came out in the trial. this was not an issue of abandonment.

      • seafoid on March 11, 2015, 3:11 pm

        Yonah

        Jews and power- fascinating.
        All through history. How do you keep intact the religion without selling out? When you have no choice, what do you do ? How do you avoid getting into such situations ?
        Did the Alawis do it better ?
        Kastner – don’t defend him. Zionism always had that fuck the weak victims attitude. Look at how Shoah survivors are treated even today in Israel.

  3. Maximus Decimus Meridius on March 8, 2015, 1:45 pm

    It’s not going to happen though, is it?

    Just another empty threat. The PA are far too corrupt and far too entangled in their lucrative role as Israel’s West Bank sheriffs. Nothing will change. It’s all bluster for domestic consumption.

    • justicewillprevail on March 8, 2015, 1:51 pm

      Perhaps we should wait and see before rushing to judgement.

      • Walid on March 9, 2015, 1:51 am

        “Perhaps we should wait and see before rushing to judgement. ”

        Waiting how much more? It’s been going on for 20 years and you know the results.

    • Sycamores on March 8, 2015, 2:47 pm

      the word ‘leverage’ sticks out like a sore thumb.

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius on March 8, 2015, 2:58 pm

        Leverage is only leverage when threats are carried out. In the case of the PA, they almost never are, because they have too much to lose – in terms of lucrative contracts and the prestige of phoney power – to stop collaborating with the Israelis.

      • seafoid on March 9, 2015, 9:55 am

        Maxi

        I see your point but the Palestinians are in the same boat as the Greeks in the Eurozone. The population hates the status quo but the only way to leave it is to secure the support of others who have the capacity to change things. Walt’s point about power- needs equal power to dislodge it.
        And for the Palestinians that is Europe. The carcass of Zionism is still breathing but won’t be indefinitely.
        And Europe will come around when it is weakened. Until then what can the Palestinians do ?

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius on March 9, 2015, 12:07 pm

        @seafoid

        Actually, the EU has become more, not less, Zionist in the last few years, a few token exceptions to the contrary. Nowadays, the US and EU are barely distinguishable when it comes to servile backing of Israel.

        And I’m not sure I agree with your Greece analogy. To a large extent the Greeks made their own mess. Not at all the same as living under military occupation.

        Besides, if the PA were simply to end ‘security cooperation’ with Israel and hand the bill for the occupation back where it belongs – with Israel — this would be a huge blow for Zionism. Yes, it might lead to short term chaos and suffering for Palestinians – and you could make the same argument for BDS – but making the Israelis see that occupation is not entirely cost free has to be a good thing.

      • seafoid on March 9, 2015, 2:01 pm

        Maxi

        the last ‘bailout” of Greece was a complete stitchup to help insolvent banks who lent money stupidly. It wasn’t all Greece’s fault. None of the assumptions about growth bore any relation to what transpired.

        http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/44c56806-a556-11e4-ad35-00144feab7de.html

        “Nobody can be surprised by the victory of Greece’s leftwing Syriza party. In the midst of a “recovery”, unemployment is reported at 26 per cent of the labour force and youth unemployment at over 50 per cent. Gross domestic product is also 26 per cent below its pre-crisis peak. But GDP is a particularly inappropriate measure of the fall in economic welfare in this case. The current account balance was minus 15 per cent of GDP in the third quarter of 2008, but has been in surplus since the second half of 2013. So spending by Greeks on goods and services has in fact fallen by at least 40 per cent”
        The truth, however, is that creditors have a moral responsibility to lend wisely. If they fail to do due diligence on their borrowers, they deserve what is going to happen. In the case of Greece, the scale of the external deficits, in particular, were obvious. So, too, was the way the Greek state was run.”

        Greece and Palestine are actually more similar than different- 2 insane ideologies trying to pummel them into the ground. All about power.

        At the level of voters the EU is becoming less and less tolerant of Israel. I think the wheels will fall off Zionism sooner rather than later.

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius on March 9, 2015, 4:37 pm

        I didn’t say it was all the Greeks’ own fault but they definitely bear a large part of the blame for their own catastrophe. Other EU countries who had bail outs have done much better. And I say this as someone who is very left wing and was thrilled with the election of Syriza.

        ”At the level of voters the EU is becoming less and less tolerant of Israel.”

        I agree, but unfortunately it’s largely irrelevant. Israel is not an election issue in any EU country, so politicians have no need to pander to voters in this regard. They do, however, need the donations from pro-Israel donors, and they do need to keep on the right side of the US, so grassroots support for Palestine, sadly, won’t make much difference.

      • seafoid on March 10, 2015, 2:57 pm

        Ireland got a much more lenient deal from the IMF than Greece. The Greek bailouts were all about saving French and German banks.

        Calling in the IMF is like going to hospital. If the patient almost dies it’s not the patient’s fault.

    • Bornajoo on March 8, 2015, 5:14 pm

      “It’s all bluster for domestic consumption.”
      Fully agree with that

      • seafoid on March 9, 2015, 2:35 am

        The Palestinians are waiting for Europe to give up on YESHA. It might need another war in Gaza to finally break the status quo. Israel is not quite leper yet. But the disease is iterating away and is quite advanced.

      • Walid on March 9, 2015, 2:42 am

        “… It might need another war in Gaza.” (seafoid)

        Seafoid, do you believe that all these wars have been about Gaza’s offshore gas and to give back control of Gaza to Abbas, or is it simply about Israel being simply vicious?

      • seafoid on March 9, 2015, 9:58 am

        Walid

        I think the turkey shoots are a part of Zionism’s slow communal mental breakdown. How much do they cost ? Maybe gas is a driving force but why would they waste so much money ?

        Is gas worth 75 dead soldiers ? I can’t see the logic.

  4. a blah chick on March 8, 2015, 2:49 pm

    “Palestinian leaders say Israel is in breach of the Oslo accords…”

    BREAKING NEWS: WATER STILL WET, SKY STILL BLUE!

    • Walid on March 9, 2015, 1:54 am

      How’s the preparation of that file for the ICC coming along? Betcha they haven’t started working on it yet; too busy making threats and really really really spooking the Israelis with them.

      • Hostage on March 9, 2015, 6:11 pm

        Re: How’s the preparation of that file for the ICC coming along? Betcha they haven’t started working on it yet; too busy making threats and really really really spooking the Israelis with them.

        FYI:

        Top Palestinian officials have accused Israel of war crimes in Gaza, filing a complaint Friday to the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Palestinian Justice Minister Saleem Al-Saqqa and Ismail Jabr, the Gaza court public prosecutor, started legal proceedings via a Paris-based lawyer over … Operation Protective Edge …”

        — Palestinians accuse Israel of war crimes at the Hague http://www.timesofisrael.com/palestinians-accuse-israel-of-war-crimes-at-the-hague/

        and this:

        “Palestinian Justice Minister Salim Al-Saqqa affirmed that the Palestinian complaint to the ICC against Israeli war crimes had not been withdrawn, Palestinian newspaper Al-Resalah reported on Saturday.

        Several sources reported on Friday that the Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas had withdrawn the complaint under international pressure.

        Al-Saqqa recognised that there is international and regional pressure on the PA to withdraw the complaint. He did not name any of the bodies exerting that pressure, but he affirmed that the complaint is still “active.”

        He said that he is the only person “authorised” to deal with the complaint and he did not “withdraw” it. “I will not withdraw it,” he stressed.

        The minister said that the PA had filed the complaint to the ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda through the famous French lawyer Jill Denver.

        Al-Saqqa said that this is the best time to prosecute Israel over war crimes committed in Gaza. “If Israel was prosecuted after the Goldstone Report, it would not have had the courage to commit crimes again,” he said. ”

        https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/news/middle-east/13348-palestine-will-not-withdraw-their-complaint-to-the-icc

        The complaint charged Israel with war crimes and crimes against humanity, including the crime of apartheid. The retroactive Article 12(3) declaration of Palestine on 31 December 2014 gave that complaint full legal force and effect.

  5. seafoid on March 8, 2015, 3:03 pm

    Oslo is the occupation

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius on March 8, 2015, 3:25 pm

      It’s worse. It’s the occupation which dare not speak its name.

      Palestinians have to endure all the hardships of occupation, and still assume many of the responsibilities of statehood. On the other hand, the Israelis get to reap all the benefits of occupation but almost none of the costs.

      Talk about a lousy deal.

      • seafoid on March 8, 2015, 5:18 pm

        The number of jewish settlers doubled from the intro of oslo to now. Judaism never wanted 2 states.

    • Kathleen on March 8, 2015, 3:25 pm

      hmmm

    • Walid on March 9, 2015, 2:12 am

      Oslo is the occupation

      Oslo legitimized and enshrined it. Oslo took the settler population that was 100,000 and made it 600,000 as you remarked last week. Avi Shlaim mentioned Edward Said in the Guardian 2 years ago:

      “… Critical to the architecture of Oslo was the notion of gradualism. The text did not address any of the key issues in this dispute: Jerusalem; the right of return of 1948 refugees; the status of Jewish settlements built on occupied Palestinian land; or the borders of the Palestinian entity. All these “permanent status” issues were deferred for negotiations towards the end of the five-year transition period. Basically, this was a modest experiment in Palestinian self-government, starting with the Gaza Strip and the West Bank town of Jericho.

      The text did not promise or even mention an independent Palestinian state at the end of the transition period. The Palestinians believed that in return for giving up their claim to 78% of historic Palestine, they would gain an independent state in the remaining 22%, with a capital city in Jerusalem. They were to be bitterly disappointed.

      Controversy surrounded Oslo from the moment it saw the light of day. The 21 October 1993 issue of the London Review of Books ran two articles; Edward Said put the case against in the first. He called the agreement “an instrument of Palestinian surrender, a Palestinian Versailles”, arguing that it set aside international legality and compromised the fundamental national rights of the Palestinian people. It could not advance genuine Palestinian self-determination because that meant freedom, sovereignty, and equality, rather than perpetual subservience to Israel.

      In my own article I put the case for Oslo. I believed that it would set in motion a gradual but irreversible process of Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territories and that it would pave the way to Palestinian statehood. From today’s perspective, 20 years on, it is clear that Said was right in his analysis and I was wrong.”

      Link to Edward Saiid’s article:

      http://www.lrb.co.uk/v15/n20/edward-said/the-morning-after

      • seafoid on March 9, 2015, 11:56 am

        My favourite quote from that piece

        “The common battle against poverty, injustice and militarism must now be joined seriously, and without the ritual demands for psychological security for Israelis – who if they don’t have it now, never will. ”

        They never will.

        BTW the 100K figure for settlers excludes the EJ parasites who at the time were 200K.

      • Hostage on March 9, 2015, 7:08 pm

        The text did not address any of the key issues in this dispute: Jerusalem; the right of return of 1948 refugees; the status of Jewish settlements built on occupied Palestinian land; or the borders of the Palestinian entity.

        That’s false. Article V of the Oslo Declaration of Principles, “Transitional period and permanent status negotiations” said in part:

        2. Permanent status negotiations will commence as soon as possible, but not later than the beginning of the third year of the interim period, between the Government of Israel and the Palestinian people’s representatives.

        3. It is understood that these negotiations shall cover remaining issues, including: Jerusalem, refugees, settlements, security arrangements, borders, relations and co-operation with other neighbours, and other issues of common interest.

        4. The two parties agree that the outcome of the permanent status negotiations should not be prejudiced or pre-empted by agreements reached for the interim period.

        http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_depth/middle_east/israel_and_the_palestinians/key_documents/1682727.stm

        FYI, those particular issues are already governed by jus cogens international law and any conflicting agreement reached by the parties to the contrary would tend to be rendered null and void in accordance with the customary rules of law reflected in Articles 52 and 53 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties and Articles 6, 7, 8, and 49 of the 4th Geneva Convention. For example, the ICJ performed a legal analysis of the Accords and declared that Israel had established the settlements in violation of its obligations under international law and that they were illegal.

      • Walid on March 11, 2015, 9:15 am

        ”That’s false. Article V of the Oslo Declaration of Principles, “Transitional period and permanent status negotiations” said in part…” (Hostage)

        That’s somewhat playing on words since “to-be-negotiated” provisions at a future date aren’t really addressing key issues.
        Part 2 of your comment says that the Vienna and Geneva Conventions do not allow any agreement contrary to the law and it has already been established that the settlements are illegal, so what’s there to discuss about these key isues?

      • Hostage on March 11, 2015, 9:42 am

        That’s somewhat playing on words since “to-be-negotiated” provisions at a future date aren’t really addressing key issues.

        No, it’s false to say that the Oslo Accords didn’t mention issues that the DOP explicitly required Israel to negotiate in order to implement 242 and 338, starting in the third year of an interim period that was “not to exceed five years”.

        Part 2 of your comment says that the Vienna and Geneva Conventions do not allow any agreement contrary to the law and it has already been established that the settlements are illegal, so what’s there to discuss about these key isues?

        The Oslo Accords don’t require Palestine to negotiate their legality, only their final status or disposition. Likewise, the law doesn’t require the Arab or Jewish refugees to return to Israel or Palestine if they opt for resettlement elsewhere and compensation instead. What happens to their abandoned property if they decide to do that and how much each state would be required to pay are topics for negotiations or arbitration. Even the ICJ ordered Israel to pay compensation for damages in accordance with the law, but didn’t establish any mechanisms or sums..

      • Walid on March 11, 2015, 10:06 am

        “My favourite quote from that piece” (seafoid)

        My favourite comment by Said, not in this article but mentioned elsewhere in a Beirut interview was how during the Oslo negotiations while Israel had a team of crackerjack lawyers present at all times, the Palestinians led by Arafat, Abbas, Shaath and others did not have a lawyer on their side of the table. For Edward Said’s overt displeasure with the Oslo capitulation, Arafat banned his books in the Palestinian territories. Since back then, it’s been almost the same exact group of Palestinian negotiators on the job, minus Arafat. At one point they had a couple of great lawyers on the team, Diana Buto and Michael Tarazi, but Israel via a UK outfit that funds the PA applied pressure on Abbas to fire them.

      • Walid on March 11, 2015, 10:19 am

        “No, it’s false to say that the Oslo Accords didn’t mention issues ”

        Theres’ no doubt these were issues were mentioned, but they were not addressed, and this is what was put in question. Then again, Israel doesn’t address anything but always agrees to discuss them in the future. The only thing Israel is adamant about is whatever concession it has gotten out of the Palestinians. For example, if we go by the Palestine Papers, the Palestinians have already agreed to a token number of returnees in the range of 5,000 and there will be no walking away from that one by Israel. With every turn of the screw, the Palestinians are conceding points.

      • Hostage on March 11, 2015, 12:22 pm

        Re: during the Oslo negotiations while Israel had a team of crackerjack lawyers present at all times, the Palestinians led by Arafat, Abbas, Shaath and others did not have a lawyer on their side of the table.

        That’s not really the case and the agreement didn’t alter the legal status of the territory or the population, which all 15 ICJ judges subsequently held was one of belligerent occupation governed by international law. The terms of the proposal had already been presented to the Palestinian Delegation to the Middle East Peace process the year before and had been rejected after a review by Francis Boyle, who has earned PhDs in both international law and political science. https://www.globalpolicy.org/component/content/article/189/38353.html

        But after the Gulf War, the Arab states were not funding Palestinian causes and the Israelis, backed by the USA, were in a position to make it a take it or leave it offer of limited autonomy. FYI, the era of maintaining an involuntary “autonomous region” was already long gone, by then. Even the EU’s Badinter Commission’s attempt to deny Kosovo’s declaration of independence and return it to limited autonomy was subsequently ignored by the majority of the EU member states. Likewise Abba Eban had admitted in 1967 that Israel’s prospects of creating a Palestinian state with limited autonomy in the West Bank or preventing it from joining the UN on the basis of sovereign equality were slim to none: http://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1964-68v19/d442

        Re: At one point they had a couple of great lawyers on the team, Diana Buto and Michael Tarazi.

        In 1993 the majority of Palestinians didn’t even want a union or confederation with another Palestinian Arab state, Jordan. They were even more strongly opposed to proposals for a union with the Israelis.

        Buttu and Tarazi came on board in 2000, years after Oslo. They were great spokespersons and advocates, but neither was considered an experienced international lawyer or published scholar at the time. It didn’t help that they were working for the self-declared Provisional Government of the State of Palestine and were recommending that their bosses abolish their day jobs. Both advocated a one state solution and a South African-style anti-apartheid, civil rights campaign at a time when the PLO and majority of Palestinians still wanted a state of their own and a Namibian-South African-style anti-Apartheid, anti-Occupation campaign. Even in 2011, the majority of Palestinians were still in favor of the UN membership bid and pursuing claims in the ICJ and ICC. The Namibian approach was the rationale employed by the Palestinian side during the 2003-2004 Wall case, where chapter 10 of their legal brief was devoted to the subject of Israeli crimes of apartheid. http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/files/131/1555.pdf Palestine was more than adequately represented in that case by James Crawford, who was still the Whewell Professor of International Law at the University of Cambridge. These days he is serving as a Judge of the International Court of Justice.

      • talknic on March 16, 2015, 4:04 am

        @ Hostage “Palestine was more than adequately represented in that case by James Crawford, who was still the Whewell Professor of International Law at the University of Cambridge. These days he is serving as a Judge of the International Court of Justice”

        A point that will no doubt be leapt upon with glee http://mondoweiss.net/2015/02/resignation-whitewash-inquiry

  6. JLewisDickerson on March 8, 2015, 3:06 pm

    RE: “Breaking from the American negotiating framework”

    MY COMMENT: The Palestinians should make it perfectly clear that under absolutely no circumstances (cross their hearts and hope to die) will they participate (either directly, or indirectly) in another so-called “peace process” brokered by the U.S. (i.e., “Israel’s lawyer”).

    In the unlikely event a U.S. government really tried to be an “honest broker”, Israel would still be able to get its way by going directly to the fundie-infested* , AIPAC-beholden U.S. Congress (as was done to veto the moratorium on building in the settlements during negotiations). By virtue of Israel’s chokehold on the U.S. Congress, it has an absolute veto over virtually anything any administration (the President, Secretary of State, “special envoys” etc.) might try to do in regards to Israel-Palestine.

    * SAM SEDER’S MAJORITY REPORT
    Louie Gohmert: We Can’t Fight Boko Haram Because of the Gays!

    • JLewisDickerson on March 8, 2015, 3:38 pm

      P.S. FROM WIKIPEDIA (Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft): A few months before the 2003 invasion of Iraq, D.A.F. released “The Sheriff” . . .

      P.P.S.
      D.A.F. [Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft (German American Friendship)]:
      Sei still. Schließe deine augen.
      Bitte denk an nichts.
      Glaube mir. Alles ist gut. Alles ist gut.
      TRANSLATION:
      Don’t say anything. Close your eyes.
      Think of nothing.
      Believe me. Everything is good. Everything is good.

      DAF – Alles ist Gut – Live Tivoli Utrecht (15-08-2010) [VIDEO, 03:13] – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3rQ9A_DRJk

  7. MHughes976 on March 8, 2015, 5:30 pm

    ‘You have nothing to lose but your chains’ has somehow become ‘You have nothing to do but rattle your chains’.

  8. Kay24 on March 8, 2015, 9:59 pm

    It is getting lame now. Bibi finds YET ANOTHER excuse to not “cede” Palestinian lands.
    Now the latest pathetic excuse is because of terrorist organizations supported by IRAN.
    This man is unhinged, transparent, and diabolical. His greed knows no bounds.

    “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that any evacuated territory would fall into the hands of Islamic extremism and terror organizations supported by Iran. Therefore, there will be no concessions and no withdrawals. It is simply irrelevant,” read a statement released by his Likud party.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/08/netanyahu-territory_n_6828192.html

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius on March 9, 2015, 11:22 am

      ”It is simply irrelevant,”

      And that sums up Israeli thinking towards Palestine. As far as they are concerned, the current situation is perfectly tolerable and can/should endure indefinitely. Even the most generous peace deal with the Palestinians is indeed ‘irrelevant’. It’s not an issue. For them, Iran is the problem. Look at how little Bibi had to say about anything else in his speech. As far as they’re concerned, the ”Palestinian problem” is essentially solved.

      Except that it isn’t, and never will be.

  9. inbound39 on March 9, 2015, 5:25 am

    The interesting thing here is,with regard to refugees,Israel already agreed to allow refugees back. It is recorded in the minutes at the UN. When Israel wanted to become a full member of the UN after attaining Sovereignty via the Partition Plan,it was agreed that if Israel implemented Resolution 194 then it would recieve full membership. Israel agreed to do so then after being awarded full member status it reneged on its implementation.

    Israel also agreed , accepted,declared and was recognised as a Sovereign State globally on borders as defined by the Partition Plan and its conditions.

    What Netanyahu states as a reason to not support Two States is unfounded and not based in reality at all. It is just a lame excuse.

  10. Hostage on March 9, 2015, 3:42 pm

    Re: The decision to end security coordination was made in a meeting of the West Bank’s highest lawmaking body, the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s (PLO) Central Committee. Over the past decade this body of 124 representatives has de facto become the Palestinian legislative branch, as the official group is now defunct.

    Here’s some background information that may clarify things a little : The PLO Central Committee (aka the Palestine National Council) is the UN-recognized “national liberation group” that declared the establishment of the State of Palestine in 1988 and assigned the PLO Executive Committee the role of Provisional Government of the State of Palestine, pending the end of the Israeli occupation and the attainment of independence. See the Political Communiqué of the Palestine National Council and Declaration of Independence of 15 November 1988 http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/6EB54A389E2DA6C6852560DE0070E392 and the PNC Declaration on provisional Government – Letter from Palestine 16 November 1988 http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/B31EAF092CCE5CA90525651700543EBF

    The PLO itself has never been governed by the interim 2003 Palestinian Basic Law (which explicitly stated that the PLO remained the sole representative of the Palestinian people). There was never any intention on the part of the PLO of replacing itself with the interim municipal “Palestinian Council” (aka Palestinian Legislative Council) created by the Oslo Accords or the Basic Law. In fact, the Cairo Agreement between Hamas and Fatah on reconciliation called not only for municipal elections, but also for Hamas’ supreme leader, Khaled Mashaal, to assist Abbas in forming a committee that will prepare for elections of the “PLO’s parliament in exile”, i.e. the PLO Central Committee – and for Hamas representatives to join that and the other PLO umbrella organs. See Cairo – Hamas Moves To Join PLO Umbrella http://www.vosizneias.com/97452/2011/12/22/cairo-hamas-moves-to-join-plo-umbrella/

    The same 5 March 2015 statement from the Palestinian Central Council mentioned in this Mondoweiss article calls on the PLO Executive to implement that reconciliation agreement and to take action in the ICC with regard to the crimes of settlement construction and murder of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip by Israel. As Allison mentioned, it also contains an explicit ultimatum that says any further UN resolutions introduced in the Security Council “must include renewal of commitment to international decisions on the Palestinian cause and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict as well as a time limit for ending the Israeli occupation and enabling the State of Palestine to exercise sovereignty on its 1967 territory including East Jerusalem, and solve the Palestinian refugee problem pursuant to Resolution 194. All this must take place in an international conference and the participation of member states, BRICS countries and Arab countries. ” — http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/7F9C2A1FF38F2E3185257E000060D6AA

    That’s not likely to happen, since Netanyahu has called the two-state solution “irrelevant” and the Obama administration is hinting that it wants to adopt “a new source of international authority … for resolving the conflict that would not be based on Resolutions 242 and 338, on which talks have been based for the past 40 years. ” See “Obama aims for another Mideast peace push by end of term, White House officials say” http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.645603

    Frankly, there has never been any “international authority” for the US-monopoly on a “peace process” aimed at circumventing international law, and it’s doubtful that it can obtain a resolution approving the continuation another apartheid scheme, while avoiding a veto from the other members of the P5 or a request for an advisory opinion on the questions of further colonialism and apartheid.

    Re: While the Palestinians did not set any specific terms for precisely how they will change their relationship with Israel, in the past leaders have hinted there are plans waiting in the drawer. A source in the Palestinian government told Mondoweiss that “before the decision was taken some governments contacted us to put pressure” on preventing the move, and indicated that the United States was one of those countries.

    It’s pretty obvious that they intend to go around the Security Council to the ICJ, ICC, and an international peace conference, through an Emergency Session of the the General Assembly, in order to obtain another advisory opinion or consensus decision they can use with the ICC and other third-parties: “To hold Israel, the occupying power, responsible before the Palestinian people as a power occupying the State of Palestine pursuant to international law.” http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/7F9C2A1FF38F2E3185257E000060D6AA

    They should also ask if an application for membership in the UN is a procedural matter falling under the provisions of Article 27(2) of the UN Charter: “Decisions of the Security Council on procedural matters shall be made by an affirmative vote of nine members.”, i.e. not subject to any veto. http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/un/unchart.htm#art27

    Bear in mind that “security coordination” under the Oslo Accords ended in a dispute between Arafat and Netanyahu over the issue of statehood. That in-turn resulted in the Second Intifada and the construction of the illegal “Wall” and the related illegal administrative regime. Security coordination was only renewed under the auspices of the Quartet’s “Performance-Based Roadmap to a Permanent Two-State Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict”. That proposal was adopted in the middle of the ICJ Wall case hearings – after the Court had already signaled its agreement to let Palestine participate on an equal basis with the other “interested states” in written and oral arguments. There was an obvious “quid pro quo” involved in the new Quartet plan that the Security Council, General Assembly, and the ICJ endorsed. The USA finally dropped its Regan era objections to the establishment of a separate Palestinian State (aka the “Regan Plan”) and agreed that the Quartet members, including the UN Secretary General, would “promote recognition of the Palestinian State and possible UN membership”, starting no later than June 2003. That recognition was supposed to be provided in exchange for “continued comprehensive security performance and effective security cooperation”. http://2001-2009.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2003/20062.htm

    The Court noted the endorsement of the plan by the UN political organs and advised the General Assembly and Security Council that they urgently needed to implement that provision and remove any other impediments to the exercise of the Palestinian right of self-determination, i.e. statehood and participation in the UN as a full member. If we jump forward to 2009-2011, when the State of Palestine formally accepted the jurisdiction of the ICC and applied for membership in the UN, we can see that the Security Council, Secretary General, and the USA did nothing to promote recognition of the Palestinian state or live-up to the terms of their own Quartet agreement and UNSC resolution 1515. Nonetheless, they insisted that Hamas blindly accept its terms on the same basis as the PLO had.

    • Hostage on March 9, 2015, 4:03 pm

      P.S. It might also be useful to point out that Palestine reserved its right with respect to retroactive acceptance of ICC jurisdiction in regard to other crimes when it filed its latest Article 12(3) declaration. Among other things, that means the investigation and prosecution of crimes committed during Operations Cast Lead, Pillar of Defense, etc. remains an open question.

      The rationale employed by the Prosecutors when they decided not to initiate investigations of crimes committed since July 2002 was contrary to the practice of the General Assembly and the Secretary General. Palestine can, and should, ask the Court (rather than the Prosecutor) to settle any lingering dispute regarding the exercise of jurisdiction in accordance with Article 119 of the Rome Statute.

      • HarryLaw on March 9, 2015, 6:40 pm

        Hostage, Sorry no reply facility on your earlier comment on the ICC, According to this article only three people in the Palestinian leadership are eligible to initiate the complaint http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/abbas-stopped-palestinian-application-icc-1206160342 The only remaining hurdle was to have an application signed by one of three members who the ICC consider as lawful representatives of a State, which are the head of state, the head of government and the minister of foreign affairs. All Maliki needed to do was to confirm the application made by fellow ministers in the Palestinian Unity Government. This he was unable to do.

      • Hostage on March 9, 2015, 7:53 pm

        Harry that article conflates treaty accession to the Rome Statute or the filing of an article 12(3) treaty declaration with the filing of an actual criminal complaint by the competent legal authorities, including the Justice Minister of the State in question. Those are separate issues entirely.

        You should be aware that the Prosecutor doesn’t have the sole discretion to decide “jurisdictional disputes” lodged under Article 119 of the Rome statute and that others agree that the question of retroactivity has not been settled yet. See for example, the exchange of comments between Dr. Daphné Richemond-Barak, Judge Kai Ambos, and myself on that subject at http://www.ejiltalk.org/double-duty-at-the-icc/comment-page-1/#comment-227399

        PA Justice Minister Ali Kashan and Foreign Minister Riad al-Malki filed a “prospective” or general Article 12(3) treaty declaration with the ICC in January of 2009. That declaration also happened to be retroactive in effect to July of 2002. Maliki confirmed the validity of that declaration at the time. http://web.archive.org/web/20110407071857/http://www.todayszaman.com/newsDetail_getNewsById.action?load=detay&link=169152

        Subsequently, during the press conference on Palestine’s treaty accession, the PA’s UN ambassador explicitly stated that he had filed yet another retroactive 12(3) declaration signed by President Abbas and that Palestine was also “reserving its right of retroactivity” with respect to other crimes. See his full remarks @ http://youtu.be/CWa0jZxlbGY and that comment @ 7:06 of the video.

  11. crone on March 9, 2015, 5:16 pm

    via Moon of Alabama wrt Netenyahu statement that he won’t “cede” Palestinian lands.”

    Another Netanyahoo Flip-Flop The U.S. Will Ignore

    … snip

    Netanyahu denies report he’s backed off two-state solution

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office denied reports on Sunday he has backed away from a 2009 commitment to seek a two-state peaceful solution with the Palestinians.

    Netanyahu “never said such a thing,” his office said in a statement responding to the reports.

    That would be the same Netanyahoo office which shortly before confirmed his statements.

    But does Netanyahoo really holds the two irreconcilable commitments at the same time?

    The Jewish Daily Forward, not suspect of peddling the Protocols of the Elders on Zion, has a possible answer. Netanyahoo is, like other Israelis, simply lying to the Americans:

    “Most Israelis think Americans are pro-Israel and we can sell them anything, especially mud from the Dead Sea,” said David Lifshitz, the lead writer for the Israeli comedy show “Eretz Nehederet,” or “Wonderful Land.”

    “Or — just regular mud with a ‘Dead Sea’ sticker on it.”

    But it’s not just American tourists whom many Israelis see as guileless. American foreign policy is held up to similar scrutiny here, even as Israel receives billions of dollars in foreign aid from the United States each year.

    “Americans are perceived to be naive, especially when it comes to the Middle East,” said Uri Dromi, who served as a spokesman for the Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres governments.

    “Whatever we tell them, the Americans will swallow it,” seems to be the Israeli position. And that assessment is likely correct. The U.S. public can be endlessly duped and should it ever be wavering in its support of the colony one only has to remind it of those not-so-mystical shared values:

    In a harsh comment Sunday, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman advocated “cutting of the heads” of Arabs who were not loyal to Israel. “Those who are with us deserve everything, but those who are against us deserve to have their heads chopped off with an axe,” Liberman said at an election event Sunday.

    Chopping of heads, droning a wedding – what is, after all, the difference?

    http://www.moonofalabama.org/2015/03/another-netanyahoo-flip-flop-the-us-will-ignore.html#comments

  12. Accentitude on March 10, 2015, 7:37 am

    “Palestinian leaders say Israel is in breach of the Oslo accords for withholding their import/export revenues, over $300 million since January.”

    Really, Abbas? That’s why Israel is in breach of Oslo? Are you sure? It’s not also because they’re annexing land, expanding settlements, legalizing outposts, infringing on Area A under PA control? Continuing mass arrests, detainment and torture practices against men, women and children? I could go on and on but none of those are worthy reasons why Israel is in breach of the Oslo Accords. They’re not as important as blocking the pipeline of $$$ going to the elite Palestinian “leaders'” Swiss Bank accounts.

    • Hostage on March 10, 2015, 3:40 pm

      Really, Abbas? That’s why Israel is in breach of Oslo? Are you sure? It’s not also because they’re annexing land, expanding settlements, legalizing outposts, infringing on Area A under PA control? Continuing mass arrests, detainment and torture practices against men, women and children? I could go on and on but none of those are worthy reasons why Israel is in breach of the Oslo Accords.

      No, because the Oslo Accords are international agreements, not international laws.

      If you, the ICC Prosecutor, or anyone else would like to see the Government of Palestine’s complaints about Israel’s violations of international law, you only need to read the 535 letters on the subject written to the Security Council and the 10th Emergency Special Session of the General Assembly from 29 September 2000 ( A/55/432­5/2000/921) to 5 January 2015 (A/ES-10/670-5/2015/4) in the UNISPAL document collection. Here’s the bottom line from the latest installment about crimes committed against children:

      The present letter is in follow-up to our 534 letters regarding the ongoing crisis in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, which constitutes the State of Palestine. These letters, dated from 29 September 2000 ( A/55/432­5/2000/921) to 5 January 2015 (A/ES-10/670-5/2015/4) constitute a basic record of the crimes being committed against the Palestinian people. Israel, the occupying Power, must be held accountable and the perpetrators must be brought to justice.

      I should be grateful if you would arrange to have the text of the present letter distributed as a document of the tenth emergency special session of the General Assembly, under agenda item 5, and of the Security Council.

      http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/73A988912802E33285257DE3004F5989

    • talknic on March 10, 2015, 9:51 pm

      @ Accentitude

      These ” “$$$ going to the elite Palestinian “leaders’” Swiss Bank accounts..” … evidence being what exactly?

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