After Trump’s plan, what options do Palestinian leaders have?

Palestinian Authority says it will go to United Nations, as analysts warn leaders must take action soon

by Mersiha Gadzo
Jan. 30 , 2020

Before US President Donald Trump announced his long-delayed plan for the Middle East, Palestinian leaders had already rejected the proposal, threatening to withdraw from the Oslo Accords.

The plan presented on Tuesday, envisions the Israeli annexation of large swaths of the occupied West Bank including illegal settlements and the Jordan Valley, giving Israel a permanent eastern border along the Jordan River.

At his announcement at the White House, Trump claimed that it would lay the foundations for a “realistic two-state solution” in the long-running conflict.

But Palestinians have denounced the proposal as utterly biased in favour of Israel, and leaders have promised to take action.

On Sunday, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) reserved the right to withdraw from the Oslo Accords.

Such a move would sever relations between the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Israel, including its controversial security coordination.

Diana Buttu, a Haifa-based analyst and former legal adviser to Palestinian peace negotiators, told Al Jazeera that threats of throwing in the key and dismantling the PA have been made for at least the past decade, but the Palestinian leadership has never followed through on any of their statements as they have never devised a “Plan B strategy”.

“A plan B strategy involves holding Israel accountable, it means supporting the BDS movement, it means pushing for Israel to be ostracised from the international community, but they’re not willing to go down that path,” Buttu said.

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Yara Hawari, senior policy fellow at Shabaka told Al Jazeera that PA President Mahmoud Abbas had set up a committee for ending all the agreements with Israel last year, but nothing came out of it.