Abbas weighs scrapping the Palestinian Authority in bid to force statehood

Special to WorldTribune.com

RAMALLAH — The ruling Fatah movement has been studying the
feasibility of maintaining the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank.

Officials said Fatah has formed a panel that would determine the fate of
the PA amid efforts to establish a state over the next few months.

Palestinian Authority chairman and Fatah chief Mahmoud Abbas. /AFP/Abbas Momani

The officials said statehood efforts have made steady progress in the international community, including membership in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and
Cultural Organization.

“The [Palestinian] Authority is not an authority,” PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, also Fatah chief, said. “People and Palestinian institutions are asking me about the benefits of continuing the Authority.”

Abbas has already threatened to dismantle the PA and relay all
responsibility for the West Bank to Israel. In late October, Abbas briefed Fatah’s Revolutionary Council on the state of the PA and the deadlock with Israel regarding the future of the West Bank.

Officials said Abbas has already discussed the prospect of dismantling the PA with neighboring Egypt and Jordan. They said the PA chairman would also consult with the opposition Hamas movement later in November.

Western diplomats said Abbas has several times threatened to dismantle
the PA and relay all authority to Israel. But they warned that the
76-year-old chairman could conclude that scrapping the PA was the best way
to force the international community to recognize a Palestinian state.

“Israel must not treat it as empty threats,” UN envoy Robert Serry said.
“If there will be no hope, it might turn out to be a self-fulfilling
prophecy.”

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