CAIRO, January 15, 2015 (WAFA) – In response to financial crisis gripping the Palestinian Authority, President Mahmoud Abbas Thursday hinted that he would dissolve the PA.
Abbas said during a speech addressing Arab Foreign Ministers in a Cairo meeting, that should the situation remains as it is, he would hand over the responsibility of running the Occupied Palestinian Territory back to Israel.
The Arab Peace Initiative Committee convened Thursday in Cairo at the ministerial level under the chairmanship of First Deputy Prime Minister and Kuwait Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid Al-Sabah to discuss latest developments on the Palestinian level.
The PA is facing a crisis in terms of paying public servant wages as a result of Israel’s decision to freeze PA’s tax revenues as a punitive measure. Israel has frozen the transfer of approximately $127 million in tax revenues it collects on behalf of the PA after the latter signed a letter of accession to join the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Abbas urged the neighboring Arab countries to provide the PA with an urgent financial safety net to compensate for the budget deficit.
In response to the United States Senate’s prospective move to immediately halt approximately $400 million in aid to the PA in order to halt its effort to join the ICC to pursue war crime charges against Israel, Abbas stressed that he firmly rejects the US stance.
“We would vehemently protest against this step since we informed the US about our intention to join the ICC before submitting the application. Had the US forced Israel to freeze settlement construction, we would not have joined the ICC.”
He explained, “As a result of being compelled to take this step, we should not be punished.”
Abbas called on the convening ministers to urge their states to pay $100 million in urgent aid for the PA, especially that it is unlikely that Israel would soon unfreeze the seized tax revenues.
He expressed intention to resubmit the statehood draft resolution to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and proposed an Arab ministerial committee to be formed to examine the version of the draft resolution and approve its content.
Abbas also called for a concerted Arab effort to make sure an international protection is provided to the Palestinians and that such a request is listed as an item on the UN’s agenda.
Abbas refused to link the negotiations or the Palestinian cause to the elections in Israel, stressing that “it needs a UN resolution, and in particular an American decision.”
Abbas addressed his participation in an anti-terror French march, which was held in Paris a few days ago with the participation of many world leaders, to denounce the attack on the satirical magazine 'Charlie Hebdo', and in solidarity with the victims of terrorist attacks in France, saying Arabs and Palestinians are against 'terrorism and violence.'
Premier Rami Hamdallah has recently slammed the Israeli move as ‘illegal’ that stands in violation with international laws and norms.
The Palestine Liberation Organization Executive Committee Member Saeb Erekat has also described the move as an act of “piracy”.
“Israel is using piracy against international law. This is not Israeli charity to the Palestinian people they are withholding, but our own money, which is rightfully ours,” Erekat said.
“By taking such steps Israel aims at breaking the will of a nation that is using peaceful tools granted by international law in its struggle against colonialism and in its pursuit of freedom and independence. Just as any other colonial power before, Israel will not succeed,” Erekat added.