The leaders of Palestine voted on Monday to call for the renouncement of their recognition of Israel, while also declaring that they no longer stand by the terms of the 1993 Oslo agreement, which was mediated by the United States to ostensibly bring a peaceful end to the decades-old conflict.
Sputnik: So firstly and most obviously, if the Palestinian side goes ahead with revoking its long-held recognition of Israel, how could this complicate international efforts to mediate an end to the conflict?
Sputnik: At the start of January President Trump threatened to make significant cuts to US aid to Palestine. Much of this aid is contingent upon what Washington calls the Palestinian ‘goodwill.’ Therefore, is it not possible that this week’s decision by the Palestinian leadership could be rather self-defeating considering that it’s likely to push Trump closer to following through on his aid-cut threat? Of course, much of this aid is vital to local Palestinian infrastructure like schools and hospitals.
Sputnik: That ties in nicely with what I wanted to ask you lastly: this week’s vote has been made at the echelons of the governing Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), but do we know how much support it commands among the ordinary Palestinians, considering that they are the ones most likely to feel any policy blowback?
Dr. Jacob Eriksson: Palestinians are broadly split on whether they would prefer a two-state solution or a one-state solution. There has of course been increased support recently for the idea of the one-state solution, given that the peace process – quote unquote – hasn’t really been going anywhere. But what all Palestinians feel, I think, is a frustration. Many are fed up with President Abbas and the Palestinian Authority and in one sense, revoking recognition of Israel could actually remove a prominent obstacle to Palestinian political reconciliation because recognition of Israel has been an obstacle to Hamas joining the PLO, and if that is removed it might actually foster Palestinian reconciliation, which a majority of Palestinian support and would definitely go down well.
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