Abbas' threat is a "trump card"

Ahmed Eleiba, Sunday 5 Dec 2010

A Palestinian source close to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said that the president's threat to dissolve the Palestinian Authority is "trump card" meant to pressure Israel

A Palestinian source close to President Mahmoud Abbas has claimed that the president is distressed due to internal conflicts within the Palestinian ranks.

The disagreements regarding the reported assassination attempt of leader Mohammed Dahlan, and other investigations surrounding corruption cases, in addition to the stalled peace talks are all only a short list of the controversial issues that have plagued the Palestinian Authority (PA) and caused disunity.

The source alleged that Abbas' threat to dissolve the PA is only a "trump card" intended to diffuse pressure from the Palestinian as well as the Israeli side.

"The dissolution of the Palestinian Authority is a last resort, in the case all other options leading to the declaration of a state fail," Bilal Al-Qassem, head of the PLO's department for occupied territorial affairs, told Ahram Online in a phone call from his office in Ramallah.

Al-Qassem added that it is not an initiative nor has it been decided, it was simply a statement made by the president for tactical purposes in the context of pressuring the Israeli state.

He also emphasised that even if they had to resort to dissolving the PA, the Palestinian community must first be prepared to end divisions and come up with a unified Palestinian decision.

Palestinian political analyst Samir Ghattas, head of the Makdes Centre for Palestinian and Israeli Studies in Gaza told Ahram Online that the only factor justifying the existence of the PA is Palestinian statehood. The PA was supposed to move from self-rule to actual state in 1994 but its authority has diminished since the Oslo Accords fell apart.

Ghattas added that in case the dissolution happens, it should not come as a favour for Israel but, rather, must proceed through a proper international framework that would hold Israel responsible as an occupying power. 

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