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    Palestinian Central Council 'Freezes' Recognition of Israel

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    RAMALLAH (Sputnik) - The Palestinian Central Council (PCC), one of the Palestine Liberation Organization's (PLO) governing institutions, has decided not to recognize the state of Israel until it recognizes the Palestinian state, Nabil Shaath, the foreign affairs adviser of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told Sputnik.

    "The Palestinian Central Council has decided to freeze the recognition of Israel by the [Palestinian] state until [Israel] recognizes Palestine as a state… Palestine will freeze the Oslo accords, the provisions of which are not implemented by Israel, including about the coordination in the sphere of security," Shaath said Monday.

    The official added that the PLO criticized the decision of US President Donald Trump to relocate the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and considered the US move as unacceptable.

    On Sunday, Abbas said at the PCC session that the Israeli policy of construction of settlements at the West Bank had resulted made an end of the 1993 Oslo accords. The agreements provide the founding principles of the self-government arrangements on the Palestinian territories and mark the start of a peace process aimed at fulfilling the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination.

    Mahmoud Abbas also said that Palestine did not recognize the United States as a mediator in the settlement of the conflict with Israel. The move was made against the backdrop of the recent decision of US President Donald Trump to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.

    Meanwhile, the PCC voted in support of the actions aimed at holding the international conference that would contribute to the creation of the Palestinian state and to the end of the conflict with Israel.

    "To work with the Arabic, Islamic, European nations, as well as with Russia and China on holding the international peace conference in order to end the occupation [of Palestinian territories by Israel], to create the independent Palestinian state with the capital in Jerusalem and to solve the problem of refugees," the statement adopted by the PCC on Monday said, as broadcast by the local television.

    The statement added that the PCC rejected the decision of Trump and would undermine its implementation. The Palestinian Central Council also called on the Arab states to severe diplomatic relations with the nations that would relocate their embasies in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

    "[We have decided] to demand from the Arab states to cut off diplomatic ties with any state that would relocate its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem," the statement adopted by the PCC on Monday said, as broadcast by the local television.

    Israel seized then Jordan-controlled East Jerusalem during the 1967 Six-Day War. In 1980, the Israeli parliament adopted the Jerusalem Law proclaiming the entire city Israel’s undivided capital. The international community does not recognize the annexation and believes the status of Jerusalem should be agreed with the Palestinians, who claim its eastern part as the capital of their future state.

    Palestinians seek diplomatic recognition for their independent state on the territories of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, which is partially occupied by Israel, and the Gaza Strip. The Israeli government refuses to recognize Palestine as an independent political and diplomatic entity, and builds settlements on the occupied areas, despite objections from the United Nations.

    The PLO, which unites major Palestinian groups apart from the Islamist ones, represents the Palestinians on the global stage and supervises the peace process in talks with Israel.

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    Tags:
    freeze, critics, peace process, recognition, security, PCC, Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), Mahmoud Abbas, Palestine, Israel
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