PLO official calls for suspending recognition of Israel

By Aysar al-Iss

RAMALLAH, Palestine (AA) – Salim al-Zanoun, the head of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)'s National Council, has threatened to suspend the organization’s recognition of Israel.

“The time has come to suspend our recognition of Israel until the latter recognizes the state of Palestine,” al-Zanoun said at a Wednesday meeting of the PLO’s Central Council in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

Al-Zanoun decried what he described as attempts by the U.S. and Israel to “blackmail our people and leadership”.

He also stressed the need to abide by previous resolutions adopted by both the PLO’s National Council and its Central Council to “confront the policies of the Israeli occupation against the Palestinian people".

In early May, the National Council mandated the PLO's authoritative Executive Committee to consider suspending recognition of Israel until the latter recognizes a state of Palestine based on pre-1967 borders.

Al-Zanoun also called on Hamas, which has governed the Gaza Strip since 2007, to allow the Ramallah-based Palestinian government to exercise its authority in the blockaded coastal enclave.

On Wednesday, the Central Council — which is dominated by President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah movement — held its 29th meeting in Ramallah, the Palestinian government’s administrative capital.

Notably, Wednesday’s meeting was boycotted by Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), and the Palestinian National Initiative Movement.