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.

 

Egypt renews calls for creation of joint military force at Arab summit

Torturous Iran talks move into top gear in battle of wills

Qaeda seizes 'majority' of Syria northwestern city of Idlib

Saudi ambassador to return to Sweden after diplomatic spat

Oil prices fall after Yemen-inspired gains

Libya forces ‘withdraw’ from frontline bases near oil ports

UN Security Council keeps Libya arms embargo in place

Saudi-led airstrikes target arms depots in Yemen capital

Death toll from hotel attack rises as fighting continues in Somalia

Turkish parliament passes security bill after long debate

Turkey army chief of staff visits historic tomb inside Syria

Saudi-led coalition keeps up raids against Yemen rebels

Assad says open to dialogue with US

US backs Saudi-led intervention in Yemen

Heavy Saudi raids force Sanaa residents to flee

Israeli Arab MP walks for Bedouins

Gulf stocks regain ground after early losses over Yemen

Kerry presses Iran on nuclear deal before deadline

Somali pirates seize Iranian fishing vessel

Borse Dubai sells big stake in London Stock Exchange

Can Arabs form joint military force?

Libya rivals discuss UN-backed peace proposals

French President to join 'anti-terror' march in Tunis

Sisi underscores Egypt’s rights to tap Nile water

US-led coalition aircraft bomb Tikrit

Saudi warplanes strike Yemen rebels in Sanaa

Netanyahu to form Israel new government after shock victory

Turkey military responds to Kurdish attacks in southeast

Leaders see horror of air crash as investigators step up probe

Fistfight in Iraqi Kurdish parliament

Syria rebels seize ancient town of Busra Sham

UN reveals plethora of abuses against activists in Libya

IS attack kills 5 militia fighters in Libya city of Sirte

Yemen President ‘in safety’ as rebel forces advance

US considering launching air strikes on Tikrit

Yemen Huthis seizes key airbase near Aden

'Feminist' policy costing dear to Sweden

Obama says row with Netanyahu ‘substantive’

Tunisia honours victims of deadly attack on national museum

Roadside bomb kills two Egypt soldiers in restive Sinai

‘Islamic State’ woos Syria children with money: More than 400 recruited in 2015 alone

Huthi-led militia push on southern Yemen

US envoy to Libya leaves Twitter after barrage of online abuse

US provides 'eye in the sky' to support Iraq Tikrit operation

Turkey prosecutors launch probe as ruling party rift grows