Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas last week told European diplomats that, contrary to rumors in the Arab press, he wouldn’t announce the dismantlement of the PA or annulment of the 1993 Oslo Accords in an upcoming UN General Assembly speech, Haaretz quoted an Israeli official saying Sunday.
In a recent interview with the London-based Arabic newspaper al-Quds al-Arabi, Abbas promised to “drop a bombshell” during his upcoming September 29 UN speech, but enigmatically refused to reveal what it was.
Following publication of his remarks, European officials asked Abbas for clarifications about his announcement, to which he replied that he wouldn’t be announcing the dismantling of the Palestinian Authority. The diplomats conveyed his remarks to Israeli officials in Jerusalem, the paper said.
The same unnamed Israeli official said, however, that Abbas confidant Saeb Erekat told European diplomats that the aging president was to announce the termination of the PA and would “return the keys to Israel.”
Under the 1993 Oslo Accords, the Palestinian Authority administers civil and security control over the West Bank’s major cities, which are delineated Area A. Area B is under PA civil control, but is under joint security control with Israel, and Area C — the bulk of the West Bank, is under Israeli control.
Ahead of his UN trip at the end of the month, Abbas will travel to Moscow next week for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin and the opening ceremony of Europe’s largest mosque, an embassy spokesman told AFP Friday.