Abbas threatens to break off ties with Israel if U.N. measure fails

Mahmoud Abbas. Credit: World Economic Forum.

( Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas threatened to break off ties with Israel if the Palestinian-drafted United Nations Security Council resolution demanding Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank by 2017 fails.

Speaking to reporters in Algeria, Abbas said that the Palestinians are “determined to restore their rights, including the right of return for refugees and the release of all Palestinians from Israeli prison,” the Algerian Press Service reported. 

“If we fail, we will halt all dealings with the Israeli government and ask it to assume its responsibilities as an occupation state,” added Abbas.

Yet the PA’s draft resolution has raised objections from Hamas, the Palestinian terror group that rules Gaza. Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said in a statement that the U.N. measure “doesn’t represent the consensus of the Palestinian people.” Abu Zuhri called on Abbas to withdraw the resolution, saying “we believe in Hamas that this draft resolution doesn’t cover [all] Palestinians and here [in Gaza there] is a large factional opposition.”

Hamas has traditionally opposed working with international institutions like the U.N. to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, preferring violence. The U.S.—which holds veto power in the U.N. Security Council—has indicated it will veto any PA resolution that supports unilateral actions outside of negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians.

Posted on December 23, 2014 .