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Why Was Mahmoud Abbas Avoiding the UN Secretary-General?

Sept. 8 2017

Last week, the UN secretary-general António Guterres visited Israel, Ramallah, and Gaza without meeting with the Palestinian Authority president, who was conveniently in Turkey to see President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Pinḥas Inbari suggests that Abbas simply didn’t want to hear what Guterres had to say:

Guterres’s meeting, [Abbas’s aides believed], was to be a continuation of the visit of the U.S. delegation led by Jared Kushner that pressured Abbas to “behave himself” at the [upcoming meeting of the UN General Assembly]. That meant not addressing the assembly with extreme anti-Israeli messages, not applying to the Security Council for status as an independent state in the UN, and not applying to UN agencies for membership.

The moderate Arab countries, . . . Jordan, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia, . . . are pressuring Abbas along the same lines. . . . The point these Arab states are emphasizing is that “we are with Trump.” They demand the Palestinians align with their pro-Trump policy. . . .

There was a second reason why Mahmoud Abbas avoided seeing the UN secretary-general: Gaza. He knew that Guterres was about to plead with him to soften the PA’s sanctions against it, and he did not want to hear that message.

Indeed, the purpose of Abbas’s Turkey visit was to secure support for his Gaza policy, and, according to our sources, that visit failed. Abbas sought to tell Erdogan to handle Gaza only through Ramallah channels. He wanted to block Hamas’s bypassing of his sanctions by applying directly to Turkey for help. Erdogan, however, suggested instead that he will act as mediator because he has good relations “with both sides.” Hence, Erdogan put his fellow Muslim Brotherhood members, Hamas, on the same level with Abbas and the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah.

Read more at Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

More about: Antonio Guterres, Donald Trump, Israel & Zionism, Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian Authority, Turkey, United Nations

The EU Violates International Law, Steals Palestinian Land, and Then Demands Compensation from Israel

Nov. 17 2017

Last month, the eight European countries that make up the West Bank Protection Consortium sent a formal letter demanding €30,000 in compensation for two classrooms with solar panels that Israel dismantled in August. The letter, as Ruthie Blum explains, ignores the fact that the structures, located in part of the West Bank called Area C, were built in violation of international law:

[The 1995 agreement known as] Oslo II, which created the Palestinian Authority (PA), divides the West Bank into three geographical sections—Areas A, B, and C—and specifies which government controls each. Area C is under the military and civil jurisdiction of Israel alone. . . . Yet, for years, there has been non-stop building in Area C, . . . in a transparent effort to populate Area C with Palestinians. . . .

[The] Middle East analyst Bassam Tawil [has] noted massive “behind-the-scenes” Palestinian construction, the goal of which is “to create irreversible facts on the ground” and completely encircle Jerusalem. He points out that while Israel is condemned for any and every attempt to build housing in the West Bank and Jerusalem [which it never does in Area A, assigned by Oslo to the sole jurisdiction of the Ramallah], the Palestinian Authority has been undertaking, with impunity, a “colossal” construction project that is “illegal in every respect.” . . .

On a recent tour of the area, [another] Arab affairs expert, Khaled Abu Toameh, explained that this ongoing construction, funded mainly by the EU and Qatar, is made possible through the “confiscation” of privately owned tracts of Palestinian land by unlicensed contractors whose interest is solely financial. . . All they want, he said, is to line their pockets at the expense of helpless landowners, who are told that they must sacrifice their property to help the Palestinian Authority populate the area for political gain against Israel. . . .

It takes particular gall for European Union representatives to express “humanitarian” outrage at Israel for razing illegal structures in the West Bank—while the EU is in league with Palestinian criminals who have been brazenly stealing Arab-owned land.

Read more at Gatestone

More about: Europe and Israel, European Union, Israel & Zionism, Palestinian Authority, West Bank