For the First Time, the State Department Holds the PA Accountable

President Clinton signed an executive order in 1994 allowing the PLO, which had until then been designated a terrorist organization, to open offices and operate in the U.S. so long as it continued to abide by conditions laid out in the Oslo Accords. The Palestinian Authority has blatantly and consistently violated these conditions with impunity. Unlike all former secretaries of state, Rex Tillerson has taken action, sending a letter demanding that the PLO close its delegation in Washington. Caroline Glick comments:

The PLO’s campaign, [begun in 2010], to get recognized as a state breached both of its agreements with Israel and the terms under which the U.S. recognized it and permitted it to operate missions on U.S. soil.

The operation of the PLO’s missions in the U.S. was contingent on periodic certification by the secretary of state that the PLO was not engaged in terrorism, including incitement of terrorism, was not encouraging the boycott of Israel, and was not seeking to bypass its bilateral negotiations with Israel in order to achieve either diplomatic recognition or statehood. Under President Obama, the State Department refused to acknowledge the PLO’s breach of all of the conditions for U.S. recognition.

Angry at the administration’s facilitation of PLO breaches, in 2015 Congress mandated stricter and more precise conditions for continued operation of the PLO’s mission in Washington. Starting in 2016, the PLO was explicitly banned from advocating the prosecution of Israelis by the International Criminal Court (ICC). But in 2015 the PLO joined the ICC with the explicit purpose of advocating the prosecution of Israelis. And in conformance with this purpose, in his speech before the UN General Assembly in September 2017, the PLO and PA chief Mahmoud Abbas called for the ICC to prosecute Israelis for building communities in Judea and Samaria.

Given his experience with U.S. administrations since Clinton, Abbas had every reason to believe that he would suffer no repercussions for his statement. No U.S. administration had ever called the PLO/PA to account for its open breach of the terms of U.S. recognition. So it isn’t surprising that Abbas and his advisers were utterly shocked [by Tillerson’s letter].

Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: Bill Clinton, Oslo Accords, Palestinian Authority, PLO, Politics & Current Affairs, U.S. Foreign policy


Hamas’s Hostage Diplomacy

Ron Ben-Yishai explains Hamas’s current calculations:

Strategically speaking, Hamas is hoping to add more and more days to the pause currently in effect, setting a new reality in stone, one which will convince the United States to get Israel to end the war. At the same time, they still have most of the hostages hidden in every underground crevice they could find, and hope to exchange those with as many Hamas and Islamic Jihad prisoners currently in Israeli prisons, planning on “revitalizing” their terrorist inclinations to even the odds against the seemingly unstoppable Israeli war machine.

Chances are that if pressured to do so by Qatar and Egypt, they will release men over 60 with the same “three-for-one” deal they’ve had in place so far, but when Israeli soldiers are all they have left to exchange, they are unlikely to extend the arrangement, instead insisting that for every IDF soldier released, thousands of their people would be set free.

In one of his last speeches prior to October 7, the Gaza-based Hamas chief Yahya Sinwar said, “remember the number one, one, one, one.” While he did not elaborate, it is believed he meant he wants 1,111 Hamas terrorists held in Israel released for every Israeli soldier, and those words came out of his mouth before he could even believe he would be able to abduct Israelis in the hundreds. This added leverage is likely to get him to aim for the release for all prisoners from Israeli facilities, not just some or even most.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas, Israeli Security