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.

 

US expresses horror at South Sudan violence

Syrian MP first-ever challenger for first-ever presidential election

Egypt's next president will have to deal with frustrated workers

Rival Palestinian leaders agree on national unity govt

Dubai's Emaar posts huge Q1 profit

Hezbollah veto dashes Geagea dreams of presidency

UN aid chiefs make impassionate call for Syria access

Police brigadier general killed in Cairo bomb attack

11 new MERS infections registered in Saudi

EU denounces Syria plans for June 3 election

Iran envoy row fails to make headway at UN

Amnesty: Qatar fails to protect domestic workers

US will deliver 10 Apache choppers to Egypt to counter terrorism

Jumblatt backs lawmaker Henri Helou for Lebanon presidency

Global chemical watchdog: Syria weapons handover at 86.5 percent

Kerry ‘prefers’ Cold War-like situation to current complex challenges

Israel to call up Christian Arabs for military service

Egypt prosecutors submit new evidence in Jazeera trial

Families of Iran prisoners break silence over abuses at notorious Evin

Lebanon sends rare aid to its territory in Syria

Iran divorce rate increases amid slow population growth

Suspected militant attacks kill four Yemen officers in two days

Distrust casts shadow over South Kordofan peace talks

Ali Tarhuni heads Libya constituent assembly

Washington revisits story of Syria chemical weapons

PM Erdogan to tour Europe for expat presidency votes

Erdogan to May Day protesters: Give up on your hopes of Taksim!

Palestine plays down threat to dismantle PA

South Sudan army battle rebels as insurgents target oil fields

Two Somali MPs shot dead in 24 hours

MERS death toll keeps climbing in Saudi

Court deals blow to US administration on drone attacks

Berber protesters clash anew with Algeria police

US has 'indications' of new chemical attacks in Syria

Blood flows in Iraq as general election looms next week

Saudi Arabia sacks Health Minister as MERS toll rises

South Sudan Rebels massacre ‘hundreds’ of civilians in Bentiu

Battle for presidency underway in Lebanon without clear frontrunner

Mauritania goes to polls to pick new president on June 21

A milestone for Libya: Constituent assembly starts drafting new constitution

Gaza in new attempt to reach most-wanted Palestinian reconciliation

Civil war fails to dissuade Syria regime: Presidential date fixed for June 3

Turkey agrees to increase shipments of natural gas from Russia

Palestinians in Gaza fire rockets into Israel

Saudi sentences five to death over 2003 Qaeda attacks