The Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), which is the official Palestinian representative body in diplomatic relations and peace talks with Israel, could consider revoking their recognition of Israel as a last chance option to pressure the Jewish state. PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi, in comments to Voice of Palestine radio and reported by the WAFA Palestinian news agency, said that the option of the PLO canceling recognition of Israel has not been discussed.
She said such a scenario would only occur if all other efforts are unsuccessful, although her bringing the matter up at all made headlines in Israel.
One reason Hamas has been excluded by the United States and others is their refusal to recognize Israel. Hamas just recently called for the taking of all of the land of Israel for “Palestine”, according to a report by The Independent.
The recognition issue has been a noticeable difference and potential dividing point for the Palestinian Fatah faction and Hamas as they consider reconciling to set up new elections next May. Fatah, led by Mahmoud Abbas, is the PLO’s driving political force.
A separate WAFA report said that Abbas has discussed with Hamas the possibility of somehow including the Gaza terror group in the PLO. Such a step would complicate already dormant peace talks with Israel further, if not end them entirely.
In the past Abbas has argued that even Fatah-Hamas reconciliation would not end negotiations with Israel since the PLO is the body that runs such talks. Therefore, Hamas joining the PLO would appear to threaten the main avenue for any official Israel-Palestinian peace discussions.
Israel-Palestinian talks were suspended by the Palestinians last year following the end of Israel’s unprecedented 10-month partial settlement construction freeze. The Palestinians have called for Israel to make up-front concessions on territory and halt settlement construction before talks can resume.
In the previous building moratorium, the Palestinians did not restart direct talks with Israel until the freeze was nearing its end. Israel has repeatedly called for the return to direct negotiations without preconditions.
(By Staff, www.themideastupdate.com, December 26, 2011)