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PLO meeting slated to call for one state solution, sources tell i24NEWS

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas chairs a meeting of the Palestinian leadership in the West Bank city of Ramallah on September 25, 2017
ABBAS MOMANI (AFP)
Trump declaration on Jerusalem terminated the two states solution, Palestinians say

The Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) will call for a "one state" solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, sources told i24NEWS on Sunday.

Members of the PLO in Ramallah say Israel ignores international resolutions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and violates the Oslo agreements regularly, leaving no solution other than that of one state with equal rights for all.

Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital further buried hopes for a "two-states" solution, Palestinians say.

Senior Palestinian leaders are meeting in Ramallah on Sunday and Monday to debate responses to US President Donald Trump's controversial recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

President Abbas said in a televised speech last week that the meeting of the Palestinian Central Council was aimed at "discussing strategic issues and taking decisive decisions to preserve the city of Jerusalem."

He is expected to give a speech on the new Palestinian strategies Sunday evening.

The talks are happening in the framework of the “Palestinian Central Council”, an arm of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO).

Ahead of the Council’s meeting, the PLO Executive Committee issued recommendations to the Assembly.

They said an international conference with complete authority under the auspices of the UN should be set up to guarantee the establishment of an independent Palestinian State in the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.

They further said the Council should refuse “interim solutions” such as the "state with temporary borders" and reject the definition of Israel as a “Jewish state”.

Among the PLO Executive Committee Recommendations there is also “making 2018 the year for ending the Israeli occupation”, continuing the state of Palestine’s joining of international agencies and conventions, “changing status of Palestinian Authority from Interim Body to State under occupation”.

Among the options to be considered is the potential suspension of the PLO recognition of Israel, delegates said.

Such a move could call into question a founding principle of the peace efforts between Israel and the Palestinians and threaten decades of agreements with Israel, including on security.

Skepticism is widespread that the leadership will follow through with such an unpredictable step, but the fact that it is being discussed will be taken as a measure of the level of anger towards the Trump administration.

The 121-member council is a high-ranking arm of the PLO, the internationally recognized representative of the Palestinian people, and includes members of different parties.

Trump's December 6 recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital has infuriated the Palestinian leadership, who see at least the eastern part of the city as the capital of a future state they have sought to gain through American-led negotiations.

Islamist movement Hamas said Saturday it would not participate to the meeting, in a further setback in the reconciliation efforts between leading Palestinian factions.

"We have taken the decision not to participate in the meeting of the (Palestinian) Central Council in Ramallah," Hamas said in a statement, however stressing its "commitment to the unity of our people".

"The conditions under which the committee will be held will not enable it to carry out a comprehensive and responsible political review, and will prevent decisions that reach the level of our aspirations."

Hamas and Islamic Jihad, another Palestinian Islamist movement, were invited to attend despite not being part of the PLO. Islamic Jihad has also announced it would not take part.

Hamas, which runs the Gaza Strip, had been pushing for the meeting to be held outside the Palestinian territories but Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas decided instead to host it in Ramallah, the base of his government in the West Bank.

The Hamas statement said this left them subject to the "pressures" of Israel, which occupies the West Bank and regularly arrests Hamas officials.

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