Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Palestinian Authority Threats What Do they Mean?

Khaled Abu Toameh

The Palestinian Authority's daily threats are not only harmful to the future of the peace process, but are also radicalizing Palestinians and pushing many of them toward the open arms of Hamas and other extremists.
In recent weeks, Palestinian leaders and spokesmen have been issuing all kinds of threats in light of Israel's refusal to extend a moratorium on settlement construction in the West Bank. In the past month alone, Palestinian officials and spokesmen made at least a dozen threats. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is once again threatening to resign if the peace talks fail. He's also been threatening to dismantle the Palestinian Authority.

Palestinian negotiators Saeb Erekat and Nabil Sha'ath have been threatening that the Palestinian Authority would unilaterally declare a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders.

The two, along with Abbas's chief spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudaineh, are also threatening that the Palestinians would seek the United Nations and US recognition of the Palestinian state.

Other Palestinian representatives, such as former Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei, who is one of the architects of the Oslo Accords, has, for his part, gone on the record to threaten that the Palestinians would once again resort to violence against Israel. Qurei and other Palestinian officials said that the Palestinians don't rule out the possibility of launching another "armed resistance" against Israel if they didn't get all what they were asking for.

These threats are similar to those that were made by Yasser Arafat and many Palestinian officials before the second intifada erupted in September 2000.

The latest threats are not only poisoning the climate and escalating tensions between Israeli and Palestinians, but are also playing into the hands of Hamas, Syria, Iran and Hizbullah – parties that have formed an unholy alliance to thwart any attempt to achieve peace in the Middle East.

Hamas and its allies are using the Palestinian Authority threats to back up their argument that Israel does not want peace and that the only language the Israelis understand is that of force and terror.

When Palestinian leaders threaten to take unilateral actions and talk about the possibility of waging another armed intifada against Israel, they are in fact supporting Hamas's position that there's no point in conducting peaceful negotiations. What the Palestinian Authority needs to realize is that its fiery rhetoric and daily threats are also likely to backfire and undermine the authority itself.

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