On January 15, 2018, the Central Council of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) issued a statement declaring that their obligations under agreements signed in Oslo, Washington, and Cairo are no longer valid. Please find the full statement translation below.
The Palestine Liberation Organization's Central Council held its twenty-eighth ordinary session, under the name “Jerusalem the eternal capital of the State of Palestine", between January 14 - 15 2018 in the city of Ramallah, in the presence of President Mahmoud Abbas.
A total of 87 members out of 109 members attended the session, while a number of members were unable to attend because they were arrested or prevented by Israel.
President of the Central council Salim Al-Za’noun began the session by saying that "The time has come for our Palestinian Central Council, that is representing the Palestinian National Council, which took the decision to establish the Palestinian National Authority to be the core of the state, to decide its future and function and to reconsider the recognition of the State of Israel until it recognizes the State of Palestine with Jerusalem as its capital and accept the refugees' return based on resolution 194.”
Al-Za’noun stressed that the Central Council rejects any ideas that are being circulated as part of the so-called "deal of the century”, because they violate international law and resolutions of the international community and seek to impose a deficient solution that does not meet the minimum of Palestinians' legitimate rights.
He called for finding other international pathways under the auspices of the United Nations to sponsor solving the Palestinian cause.
He said, "Our success in facing these risks and challenges requires accelerating the steps of implementing reconciliation and ending the division, and developing a plan to strengthen national partnership within the framework of the PLO, as the supreme national political and legal reference for our people."
Al-Za’noun proposed to hold a session of the National Council, in which both Hamas and the Islamic Jihad will be invited with the task of reshaping, choosing or electing a new national council, as stipulated by the system of elections of the National Council.
"We respect and appreciate the position of Arabs and their support for the Palestinian cause. We demand the implementation of the decisions of the Arab summits on Jerusalem, especially the Amman summit of 1980, which called for severing all relations with any state that recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel or transfers its embassy to it."
He stressed that the sacrifices and struggles of prisoners in Israeli jails obligate Palestinians to provide all forms of support and that the dignity of Palestinians remains above any consideration.
Meanwhile, President Abbas reiterated commitment to a two-state solution based on international resolutions, the Arab peace initiative on the 1967 borders, the cessation of settlements’ expansion and unilateral actions. He affirmed that Palestinians will continue to seek the Security Council until full membership is achieved.
He stressed that Palestinians will not accept what the US attempts to impose, and that the PLO will reconsider its relations with Israel, yet engage in any serious peace negotiations under the auspices of the UN.
First: US recognition of Jerusalem
1. To condemn and reject the decision of US President Donald Trump, recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and transferring his country’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and work to reverse this decision.
2. The Council considered that the US administration, by announcing this decision, has lost its eligibility to function as a mediator and sponsor of the peace process and will not be a partner in this process unless the decision is reversed.
3. The Council stressed its rejection of President Trump's policy that is aimed at presenting a project or ideas that contravene the resolutions of international community to resolve the conflict, which revealed its essence by declaring Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The Council stressed the need to abolish the Congress's decision to consider the PLO as a terrorist organization since 1987, and the State Department’s decision to close the Office of the PLO general delegation in Washington on November 17, 2017.
Second: The relationship with Israel (the occupation):
In light of the withdrawal of the occupying state from all agreements and revoking them by practice and imposing a fait accompli, and with the Central council stressing that the direct goal is the independence of the State of Palestine, which requires transition from self-governing to the stage of a state that is struggling for independence, with East Jerusalem as its capital and on the borders of 4 June 1967, in implementation of the resolutions of the National Council, including the Declaration of Independence in 1988, and relevant UN resolutions, including the General Assembly resolution 67/19 of 29/11/2012, as the political and legal basis for Palestinians reality, and the affirmation of adherence to the territorial unity of the State of Palestine, and the rejection of any divisions or facts imposed contrary to that;
The Central Council decided that the transitional period stipulated in the agreements signed in Oslo, Cairo and Washington, with its obligations no longer stand.
1. The Central Council calls upon the international community to assume its responsibilities on the basis of relevant UN resolutions to end the occupation and enable the State of Palestine to achieve its independence and to exercise its full sovereignty over its territory, including its capital, East Jerusalem, on the borders of 4 June 1967.
2. Assign the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization to suspend recognition of Israel until it recognizes the State of Palestine on the 1967 borders and revokes the decision to annex East Jerusalem and expand and build settlements.
3. The Central Council reaffirms its decision to stop security coordination in all its forms and to break away from the relationship of economic dependence established by the Paris Economic Agreement, to achieve the independence of the national economy. It requests the Executive Committee of the PLO and the institutions of the State of Palestine to start implementing this.
4. Continue to work with world countries to boycott Israeli colonial settlements in all fields, to work on publishing the database for companies operating in Israeli settlements by the United Nations and to emphasize the illegality of Israeli colonial settlements since 1967.
5. Adopt the BDS movement and call on world countries to impose sanctions on Israel to put an end to its flagrant violations of international law and to end its continued aggression against the Palestinian people and the apartheid regime imposed on them.
6. Reject and condemn the Israeli occupation and apartheid that Israel is trying to enshrine as an alternative to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, and affirm the determination of the Palestinian people to resist by all means.
7. Reject any proposals or ideas for transitional solutions or interim stages, including the so-called state with temporary borders.
8. Refuse to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.
Third: The internal Palestinian situation:
1. Adhere to the reconciliation Agreement signed in 2017 and its execution mechanisms, the latest of which is the Cairo agreement in 2017 and the provision of means of support for its implementation, and enable the Government of National unity to assume its responsibilities fully in the Gaza Strip in accordance with the Amended Basic Law, and then conduct general elections and hold the Palestinian National Council session no later than the end of 2018 in order to achieve political partnership within the framework of the PLO, the legitimate and sole representative of the Palestinian people, and work to form a government of national unity in order to strengthen the political partnership and the unity of the Palestinian political system.
2. Affirm the right of our people to exercise all forms of resistance against the occupation in accordance with the provisions of international law and to continue to activate, support and strengthen the peaceful popular resistance.
3. Affirm the need to support Palestinians and their steadfastness in the eternal capital of the State of Palestine, Jerusalem and affirm the need to support their struggle against the Israeli measures aimed at Judaizing the Holy City.
4. Take all measures to support our people in the Gaza Strip, who faced the Israeli aggression and the Israeli siege and provide the support they need, including freedom of movement, access to health, the reconstruction and the mobilization of the international community to break the siege.
5. The Central Council condemns the leaking of the property by the Greek Orthodox church to Israeli institutions and companies and calls for accountability of those responsible. It supports the struggle of the Palestinian people from the Orthodox community in order to preserve their rights and their role in administering the affairs of the Orthodox Church and preserving its property.
Fourth: The Security Council, the General Assembly and the International Criminal Court:
1. Continue to work to provide international protection to the Palestinian people in the territory of the occupied State of Palestine (West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip) based on the Security Council resolution 605 for the year (1987), 672 (1967) and (1990), 904 of (1998), and the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 (Protection of Civilians in Time of War).
2. Continue to work to strengthen the status of the State of Palestine in international forums and activate the request for full membership of the State of Palestine in the United Nations.
3. Provide referral on various issues (settlement, prisoners, aggression on the Gaza Strip) to the International Criminal Court.
4. Continue to join to international institutions and organizations, including the specialized agencies of the United Nations.
Fifth: The Arab and Islamic levels:
1. Call for activating the resolution of the 1980 Amman Summit, which obliges the Arab states to sever all ties with any state that recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and transfers its embassy to it, which has been reaffirmed in a number of other Arab summits with the request of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation member states to do the same.
2. Adhere to the Arab peace initiative and reject any attempts to change or alter it and maintain its priorities.
3. Work with the Arab countries (The Arab League), the Islamic countries (OIC) and the Non-Aligned Movement to hold an international conference with full powers to launch the peace process and in coordination with the EU countries, Russia, China, Japan and other international groups on the basis of relevant international resolutions and benefit from the outcomes of the 2017 Paris conference in a way as to ensure the end of the Israeli occupation and the empowerment of the State of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital on the 1967 borders and exercise its independence and sovereignty and to resolve the refugee issue on the basis of UN Resolution 194 and other final status issues in accordance with the resolutions of the international community within a specific time frame.
4. The League of Arab States, the OIC, the Non-Aligned Movement and the African Union must stand firm in front of world countries that violated the resolutions of these collective frameworks on voting against the United Nations General Assembly resolution on Jerusalem 21/12/2017.
5. The Central council condemned US threats to cut aid to UNRWA, which is seen as a way for the US to abandon its responsibility over a refugee crisis that it has aided in creating and calls on the international community to commit itself to securing the necessary funds for UNRWA, which would put an end to the continued decline in the Agency's services and instead improve its role in providing basic services to the victims of the Nakbah and ensure a decent life for refugees as a responsibility that the international community should fulfill in accordance with resolution 194.
6. The Central Council rejects foreign intervention in Arab countries and calls for a political solution and dialogue in order to end the crises and wars experienced by some Arab countries. It calls for maintaining the unity of these countries and defying attempts to divide and alleviating the suffering of Arabs.
Sixth: Develop mechanisms to implement the decisions of the previous Central Council to represent women by at least 30% in all institutions in the State of Palestine and to harmonize the laws in accordance with the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).
Seventh: The Central Council salutes the masses of Palestinians in refugee camps and exile camps in Syria, Lebanon and the Diaspora who affirm their adherence to the right of return every day. The Executive Committee is mandated to continue and intensify work with the Palestinian communities in the world and to communicate with international parties to mobilize support in facing decisions that aim to liquidate the Palestinian cause.
Eighth: The Central Council salutes the struggle and steadfastness of the prisoners in the Israeli jails and calls for their support in their daily confrontation and calls on national and international institutions to bring up their cases in all forums until their release. The Council condemns the arrest and intimidation of children, including Ahed Tamimi, which has become a symbol of Palestinian pride in the face of occupation as well as dozens of other children.
It condemns the deliberate killings and field executions committed by Israel, as well as the killing of Ibrahim Abu Thuraya, and condemns the continued detention of the bodies of Palestinians in the numbers graves, and calls for their unconditional release.
Ninth: The Central Council salutes Palestinians for their response to President Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and transfer the US Embassy to it. It salutes the souls of Palestinians who rose for Palestine and al-Aqsa.
UPDATE: PLO Central Council decides to suspend Oslo agreement, WAFA, (January 15, 2018).