Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, said Monday that the Israeli rejection of the new American plan for reviving Palestinian-Israeli peace had added momentum to the Palestinian resistance groups’ opposition to the plan
Palestinian resistance groups, including the now governing Hamas, resisted the plan, which they believed was aimed at resuming a ‘notorious’ security coordination between Israel and the Palestinian National Authority, which used to be observed in the years that followed the Oslo accords of 1993.
Abbas said that the plan allows the Palestinian Authority to deploy its forces to prevent firing by Palestinians of homemade shells into Israel as well as smuggling weapons through Gaza-Egypt borders.
The Palestinian president acknowledged there were ‘substantial objections from Palestinians to the plan, yet the Israeli rejection has ‘comforted everyone’.
In essence, the U.S proposal called for stopping Palestinian attacks on Israel, in exchange for Israeli ease of movement restrictions in the West Bank, from one hand, and between Gaza and the West Bank from the other, reviving past understandings on movement.
Palestinian information minister, Mustafa Barghouti, believed that such a plan would preempt issues of final status stalks and short-cut the Palestinian question into merely a problem of movement.
“Instead of talking about removing a roadblock here or there, more significant issues should be addressed, such as the boundaries of future Palestinian states and the problem of Palestinian refugees”.
As of today, Palestinian resistance groups rebuffed statements by chief Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Eriqat, which hailed the American proposal, rejecting return to the Oslo days.
President Abbas also said that the Palestinian homemade shells fire into nearby Israeli communities has helped undermine the ceasefire agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, reached last November.
On another issue, the Palestinian chairman urged Israel to release tax revenues, Israel has been withholding since the installation of a Hamas-led government after last January’s parliamentary elections.
In 1993, the then second man of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Mahmoud Abbas was the architect of Oslo peace accords, which laid the foundations for Israeli-Palestinian peace and allowed Israel’s foe, PLO, to established a limited autonomous rule in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
The accords set forth Israeli-Palestinian security arrangements, with an absolute Israeli control over border lines, Palestinian crossing points, sea and air space.
With the outbreak of the Palestinian Intifada (uprising) in late September2000, right after failure of the U.S-sponsored Camp David peace talks, peace between both sides has been largely undermined.
The American peace benchmarks come almost three weeks after Israel killed 9 Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, sparking a new wave of Palestinian homemade shells, said to be the largest since the November ceasefire.