First Published: 2012-11-14

 

Israel intimidates Abbas: You’ll pay dearly for UN bid efforts

 

Foreign ministry proposes in policy paper ‘toppling’ Abbas if Palestinian bid for state observer status at UN is approved.

 

Middle East Online

By Jonah Mandel – JERUSALEM

Last warning!

Israel's foreign ministry has proposed in a policy paper "toppling" Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas if a Palestinian bid for state observer status at the United Nations is approved later this month.

"Toppling Abu Mazen's (Abbas's) regime would be the only option in this case," the position paper says. "Any other option... would mean waving a white flag and admitting the failure of the Israeli leadership to deal with the challenge."

The position paper is a draft document that is expected to be endorsed by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who would then present it to the Israeli officials charged with formulating Israel's response to the Palestinian bid.

Lieberman has already reportedly expressed his view that Abbas's Palestinian Authority should be dismantled if the UN bid succeeds.

The Palestinians are scheduled to present their bid for state observer status at the General Assembly on November 29, where they are expected to easily win approval, despite opposition from the United States and Israel.

The bid comes slightly more than a year after the Palestinians sought full UN membership at the Security Council, a request that stalled there because of opposition from the United States, a permanent member and veto-holder.

The ministry paper warns that Israel "must extract a high price from Abu Mazen," and that receiving state status at the UN "would be considered a crossing of a red line."

Israel's Channel 10 reported on November 5 that Lieberman had backed the dismantling of the Palestinian Authority, in comments to EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.

"If the Palestinians pursue their project at the UN, they are definitively destroying the chances of peace talks," the station quoted Lieberman as saying on October 24.

"If they persist with this project, I will ensure that the Palestinian Authority collapses."

A senior Israeli official said on Wednesday that Israel is also considering annulling part or all of the 1993 Oslo Accords in response to the UN bid.

"The claim is that the Palestinians' appeal to the UN is such a fundamental breach of the Oslo Accords that it nullifies them. And if they are nullified, we are not committed to them either," the official said on condition of anonymity.

"The (Oslo) agreement specifically says that every dispute will be resolved through direct negotiations, not by going to a third party," he added.

The 1993 Oslo accords were intended to pave the way for a full resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and led to the creation of the Palestinian Authority, which was to govern parts of the occupied West Bank and Gaza until a final agreement.

The Israeli official said the threat to annul the Oslo Accords was first weighed when the Palestinians submitted their bid to the Security Council.

"We said this a year ago too," he said, explaining that Israel did not follow through because "the (UN) process led nowhere."

"If the agreement is broken, it's broken, and you can act according to your understanding and interests."

Israel and Washington fiercely oppose any Palestinian action at the United Nations, and US President Barack Obama called Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas earlier this week to reiterate his opposition.

But the Palestinians have confirmed they will push ahead with the plan, saying that enhanced UN status does not contradict peace efforts, and pointing out that direct talks have been on hold since late September 2010.

Israel calls the bid "unilateral" and is reportedly also weighing suspending the transfer of tax and tariff funds it collects for the Palestinians and cutting permits for Palestinian workers in Israel in response.

 

Erdogan seeks to defuse standoff around Turkey’s Qatar

Arab League accuses Israel of 'playing with fire' at holy site

Syria warplanes strike near Damascus despite ceasefire

600,000 Yemenis expected to contract cholera in 2017

Foreign food chains hoping for taste of Iran market

US warns Iran over imprisoned Americans

Kuwait protests to Lebanon over Hezbollah training

30 extremists in Sinai operations

Three Palestinians shot dead in Jerusalem

Nearly 360 injured in Turkey by magnitude 6.7 quake

UN says Saudi to blame for deadly Yemen strike on civilians

Police fire tear gas to disperse Morocco protest

Germany reviews arms sales to Turkey

Hezbollah launches Syria border operation

China calls for Gulf crisis talks

Israel bars men under 50 from Jerusalem Old City prayers

Intensifying Jihadist-rebel clashes in Syria's Idlib

Saudi King sets up new state security agency

Rebel ambush kills 28 regime fighters near Damascus

Turkey slams 'dangerous' Cyprus energy plans

Saudi prince 'arrested over leaked abuse videos'

Israel boosts 'security measures' as Al-Aqsa tensions simmer

Kuwait expels Iranian diplomats over 'terror' cell

Germany vows to overhaul Turkey ties as row escalates

Home cooked meals a relief for fighters in Syria's Raqa

US maintains designation of Iran as top 'state sponsor'

US halting support for Syria rebels

30 civilians dead in anti-IS strikes in Syria

Palestinian civilians urge ICC to speed up probe

Turkey PM opts for stability in light cabinet reshuffle

UN aid flight carrying journalists barred from Yemen

Former IS slaves fight for revenge in Raqa

US, Iran trade tit-for-tat sanctions

20 Yemeni civilians killed in air strike

14 killed in opposition infighting in Syria's Idlib

Morocco sentences 25 to prison over W. Sahara killings

Egypt police kill top militants

Heavy rainfall hits Istanbul causing transport chaos

Palestinians protest Israeli security measures at Al-Aqsa compound

Saudi police question woman who wore miniskirt

Rebels, US-backed Kurds clash in northern Syria

Netanyahu says Hungary is 'standing up for' Israel

Lebanon army to launch operation near Syria border

Morocco delays currency reform amid speculation

Iran parliament vows to fight US 'adventurism'