Published: Sun, January 14, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

PLO should de-recognise Israel: Hamas

PLO should de-recognise Israel: Hamas

Since US president Donald Trump's unilateral decision on December 6 that saw the United States officially recognize Jerusalem as the "capital of Israel", Israeli troops have kidnapped at least 750 Palestinian civilians in the West Bank, and killed sixteen. That move, authorized by PA leader Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen), was meant to pressure the Hamas leadership to loosen its control of the coastal strip. When U.S. officials talk about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, they usually parse their words carefully.

Palestinians reacted angrily when President Trump threatened to cut off aid to the Palestinian Authority, and the face off between the Palestinians and Trump puts any future Israeli-Palestinian negotiations in doubt.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has privately urged Trump not scale back UNRWA's funding, the Times of Israel reported Thursday. The the largest donor to the agency.

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Earlier in the week, Trump complained on Twitter that "we pay the Palestinians HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS a year and get no appreciation or respect". The Islamic militant group seized power in Gaza in 2007 after driving out forces loyal to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Security forces claim most attacks were carried out by guns in the West Bank, with groups, including the Shin Bet intelligence agency, IDF and police, increasing their efforts to uncover unofficial workshops producing illegal weapons.

"Both of these ideas can not be true at the same time", he said of the December remarks that Jerusalem's boundaries are up for negotiation and this month's tweet that Jerusalem is off the table.

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Today the clashes extended to a host of new Palestinian villages and towns. The release noted that many other cases received treatment on site.

"The moves to be discussed include defining the relations with Israel in addition to the political and legal steps the Palestinians may take", said Ahmed Majdalani, member of the PLO Executive Committee.

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But Tamara Cofman Wittes of the Brookings Institution says the "carefully drafted staff verbiage can not hold up against the assault of the president's impulsive announcements".

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"Even when mitigated or tempered by post facto staff work", she says, "these pronouncements tend to hold up in one form or another".

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