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Palestinians to halt agreements with Israel – President Abbas

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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says the Palestinians will no longer abide by previous agreements made with Israel.

His announcement followed an emergency meeting after Israel razed Palestinian buildings it said were illegally built on the edge of Jerusalem.

Agreements signed over the past 25 years cover many spheres of activity, including security co-operation.

Israel has not yet responded to the move.

Mr Abbas said a committee would be formed to work out how to implement the decision.

Tensions between Israel and the Palestinians have heightened in recent days after the demolition of the buildings in Wadi Hummus (an area of Sur Baher), which Israel’s High Court said had been built too close to its West Bank barrier.

There was an international outcry over Israel’s actions, which left 17 people homeless.

Mr Abbas blamed Israel for the latest step, accusing it of reneging on agreements first.

“In light of the insistence of the occupation authority [Israel] to deny all the signed agreements and their obligations, we announce the decision of the leadership to stop working in accordance with the agreements signed with the Israeli side,” he was quoted by the official Palestinian news agency, Wafa, as saying.

It is unclear what the decision will mean in practice or whether it extends to the Palestinians’ recognition of Israel itself, a lynchpin of the 1993 Oslo peace accords, which lay the foundations for Palestinian self-rule in the occupied territories of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.

Mr Abbas has previously threatened to annul past agreements with Israel but this has never been implemented.

Israel has in the past warned that a scrapping of agreements could lead to the collapse of the Palestinian Authority, the Palestinian’s de facto government.

SourceBBC NEWS

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