A high-ranking arm of the Palestine Liberation Organization has called for Israel’s recognition to be revoked. Should it be accepted, the move could upend decades of formal relations between the two governments.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, center, speaks during a meeting with the Palestinian Central Council in Ramallah (picture-alliance/AP Images/M. Mohammed)

The Palestinian Central Council, the second-highest decision-making body of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), backed a measure to suspend recognition of Israel until it recognizes a Palestinian state.

In addition to recognizing Palestine, Israel should stop settlement building and rescind its annexation of East Jerusalem, Central Council chairman Salim Zanoun read in a statement late on Monday after the council voted in favor of the measure.

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Although the move would spark an international backlash and disrupt 25 years of formal relations between the Palestinian and Israeli governments, it was not clear whether the Central Council’s vote was binding.

The Central Council’s previous vote in 2015 to suspend security coordination with Israel was never implemented. That vote, however, was also reaffirmed on Monday.

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Backlash over Trump’s Jerusalem move

The vote came as Palestinian leaders met in response to US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas opened the meeting on Sunday with harsh remarks for US leader, calling Trump’s peace efforts the “slap of the century.”

“We said ‘no’ to Trump, ‘we will not accept your project’,” Abbas said.

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The PLO delegates also released a statement backing Abbas’ comments where he declared the 1993 Oslo Accords as “finished.” The peace accords form the basis of Palestinians’ relations with Israel.

Responding to the Palestinian leader’s remarks, the European Union said its position on the conflict between Israel and Palestine remains “based on the Oslo accords.”

Trump’s decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem and recognize the divided city as Israel’s capital upended decades of US policy and prompted Abbas to reject any US-led peace efforts.

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rs/rc   (AFP, dpa)



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