The Palestinian Authority is planning to reconsider its security, political and economic agreements with Israel in the coming days, a PLO official said on Sunday.
After exploratory talks with Israel ended without agreement, the PLO Executive Committee has agreed to take a number of measures to jolt the current stalemate.
In an interview with Egyptian channel CBC on Friday, President Mahmoud Abbas said the PA was planning a "major decision" in no more than 10 days, in response to the talks' failure.
Now, where have we heard this before?
A few months ago, I noted:
Palestinian Arab media are buzzing about a dark hint that Mahmoud Abbas gave in an interview with an Egyptian newspaper that he will reveal something "important and dangerous" that is happening soon.
There is some speculation that when the UN Security Council bid for statehood is defeated, and because of the inability of Fatah to successfully negotiate any elections with Hamas, together with Abbas' repeated promises not to run in any new elections for president of the PA, that Abbas may dissolve the PA altogether.
In fact, Saeb Erekat hinted at this yesterday, telling Palestine Radio "Either there is power to the movement of Palestinians from occupation to independence, or Netanyahu has to assume [Israel's] responsibilities seriously from the river to the sea."
Before that, in 2010:
A senior Palestinian official warned the Palestinians may break their agreements with Israel if it continues with its current policies.It used to be that Abbas would threaten to resign, which he did repeatedly, when things didn't go his way.
The senior adviser to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas warned Palestinians cannot "remain committed to agreements that were signed with Israel forever."
He's still there.
This is the PLO version of politics: try to get a frightened West to put pressure on Israel by pushing empty threats.
If the PLO would decide to abrogate existing agreements, then the autonomy they have achieved would be gone. The situation that Abbas characterized in 2009 as "in the West Bank we have a good reality...the people are living a normal life" - would disappear.
Now, we have seen only in recent weeks that Hamas is willing to gamble with the well-being of the people under their control in order to make a political move - in that case, to pressure Egypt to provide power to Gaza - but Hamas' hold on power is unassailable. Abbas and his Fatah movement are not going to throw away their power - especially their security forces.
Abbas is good at threats. That's about all he is good at. He sure isn't interested in building a real state and making hard decisions.