PLO could withdraw recognition of Israel

PLO could withdraw recognition of Israel
PLO leaders are mulling over a move to revoke the 1988 recognition of Israel, after US and Israeli moves to undermine Palestinian authority.
2 min read
04 February, 2018
Abbas is under pressure to take a harder line against Israel [AFP]

The Palestine Liberation Organisation's (PLO) made the first steps to temporarily revoke recognition of Israel Saturday.

PLO leaders are meeting after the Palestinian Central Council - another arm of the organisation - called for the step last month.

But the body stopped short of ordering the drastic measure immediately.

The PLO executive committee on Saturday urged the Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to "immediately start preparing plans and projects for disengagement steps with the Israeli occupation government at the political, administrative, economic and security levels".

It comes two months after US President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Palestinians are also frustrated by Israel's right-wing government, which has seen the continued expansion of illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank - a key obstacle to peace.

Withdrawing the PLO's 1988 recognition would be a drastic step and likely halt cooperation between Palestinian and Israeli authorities.

The PLO's Executive Committee said Saturday it would set up a committee to study the de-recognition move.

Last month the PLO's Central Council called on the Executive Committee to suspend recognition of Israel until it recognises the state of Palestine.

It also wants Israel to end its expansion of the settlements - considered illegal under international law - on occupied Palestinian land.

Western countries have been lobbying senior Palestinian officials to convince them not to take such a step, diplomats told AFP.