(JNS.org) In the midst of efforts to reach a deal that would extend the current Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations into 2015, Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas violated the agreed-upon terms of the negotiations by an signing applications for PA membership in 15 international agencies and treaties.
Upon the launching of the peace talks last summer, the Palestinian Authority—which became a member of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization after unilaterally obtaining non-member observer state status in the U.N. in November 2012—agreed not to seek membership in additional U.N. bodies.
Leaders of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations expressed “concern and disappointment” that Abbas signed the new applications “knowing that this could sabotage the ongoing efforts of the United States Secretary of State John Kerry and Prime Minister Netanyahu to sustain the negotiations.”
“We hope that the applications will not be submitted to the U.N. organizations and the proposals will be properly responded to so that negotiations can be extended through the end of the year to enable the parties to work out the complex issues involved,” said Conference of Presidents Chairman Robert G. Sugarman and Executive Vice Chairman Malcolm Hoenlein.
American Jewish Committee Executive Director David Harris said, “Abbas’s latest ploy endangers the peace process, and is a slap in the face of Secretary of State Kerry, who has worked tirelessly with both Israelis and Palestinians to achieve peace.”
“If the Palestinian leadership wants to keep a two-state prospect viable, internationalizing the conflict at this sensitive moment is totally counter-productive,” Harris said.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said at a press conference in Brussels that it is “completely premature” to draw “any final judgement about today's events and where things are” in the peace process, AFP reported.