Israeli officials were playing down a report on Monday about a possible Palestinian move at the U.N. General Assembly to declare a Palestinian state and revoke the Oslo Accords, The Times of Israel said.
“We view these threats with a certain amount of skepticism,” an Israeli official said. “The Palestinians routinely negotiate through brinkmanship. If they don’t get what they demand, they threaten to jump off the cliff.”
PA President Mahmoud Abbas has made various threats of unilateral action in recent months, including his resignation, dissolution of the PA and nullification of the Oslo Accords.
“The prime minister is ready for the immediate resumption of peace talks without any preconditions, but the Palestinians refuse to engage,” the Israeli official reiterated. “By placing unnecessary preconditions on the talks, they make the resumption of talks impossible. Then, after preventing talks from happening, they run to the international community and say no negotiations, crisis, drastic action is required. But it’s a charade.”
In the event the Palestinians do nullify the Accords, it could spell the end of Israeli-PA security coordination and shift all responsibility for governance of the Palestinians in Yehudah and Shomron to Israeli hands.
Regarding the threat of declaring Palestine “a state under occupation,” Alan Baker, a retired Israeli diplomat and former legal adviser to the Foreign Ministry, was dismissive.
“It’s an empty statement,” he said. “I don’t think it has any significance whatsoever. Nothing Abbas says, no declaration he makes at the U.N., will change anything on the ground.”
From the point of view of international law, it is questionable whether a non-state such as the Palestinians represent can claim to be “occupied.”
However, at this juncture no one really knows what Abbas will do, if anything, when the General Assembly convenes on September 30.