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Middle East Palestine Liberation Organisation withdraws from the Oslo peace accords

THE Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) has voted to withdraw from the Oslo peace accords and recommended revoking recognition of Israel.

The PLO Central Committee voted late yesterday to quit the US-brokered 1993 and 1995 accords agreed by the late PLO leader and Palestinian president Yasser Arafat and Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin.

Council chairman Salim Al-Za’noun read out the final statement of the two-day meeting ending recognition of Israel until it in turn recognises a Palestinian state on the pre-1967 borders and East Jerusalem as its capital.

The statement instructed the PLO — a coalition of major Palestinian political parties — to “reject and condemn the Israeli occupation and apartheid that Israel is trying to enshrine as an alternative to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.”

It urged other Arab countries to “sever all ties with any state that recognises Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and transfers its embassy to it” — referring to the decision taken by US President Donald Trump last month.

The statement also resolved to end security co-operation with Israel “in all its forms.”

And it vowed to “break away from the relationship of economic dependence established by the Paris economic agreement, to achieve the independence of the national economy.”

The Protocol on Economic Relations puts Israel in charge of collecting import taxes on goods bound for the occupied territories.

Tel Aviv has previously withheld that income from the Palestinian Authority as a sanction.

There was no immediate reaction from Israel today, but yesterday hard-line ministers said Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had declared himself no longer a “partner for peace” after urging the break on Sunday.

However the statement was not wholly welcomed by some Palestinian political parties, which described the language as vague.

Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine political bureau member Omar Shehadeh told Al-Jazeera that the mandate to the PLO’s Executive Committee and not the Palestinian Authority would delay any action.

The Oslo accords marked the first time that Israel and the PLO formally recognised each other. It triggered the establishment of an interim Palestinian government, the Palestinian Authority, and set an 18-month deadline for Israeli ground forces to withdraw from the occupied territories.

But it left Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territories under Tel Aviv’s jurisdiction.

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