Palestinian Leader Declares End to Agreements with Israel
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas says he will stop implementing signed agreements with Israel. The decision, announced late Thursday, comes amid deteriorating relations and follows Israel’s demolition earlier in the week of several apartment buildings under construction in a Jerusalem neighborhood that has spilled over into a part of the West Bank under full PA control. The declaration was made in a dramatic and fiery speech during a meeting of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Executive Committee at the PA presidential headquarters in Ramallah. Abbas said the steps came “in the face of the occupation authority’s insistence on negating all of the signed agreements” between the two sides. The 84-year-old leader gave no details on which agreements would be affected, saying only that the Palestinians would immediately create a committee to find ways to follow through. The PA and Israel work together in several spheres, most importantly security cooperation; if the PA pulls out, it could have a major impact on the West Bank, especially for Israeli settlements.