Abbas Seeks Palestinian Disengagement from Israel, Looks to Moscow
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) is going solo on his plan to proclaim an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. He has cut his ties with US President Donald Trump, turned his back on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, and lost the backing of the key Arab nations, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. His former patrons, Britain, France, Germany and Italy, have also given up on him. Yet nothing is turning Abbas away from his chosen path.
DEBKA Weekly’s intelligence sources reveal the five steps he has already taken to achieve his goal – some of them in secret:
- A set of what he calls “Disengagement Committees” have been put to work at his Ramallah headquarters to create mechanisms for separating the Palestinian communities of the West Bank and Gaza Strip from their ties with Israel in such fields as the economy, security, water and electricity. Abbas is looking forward to the day when the Palestinian Authority can announce its severance from security cooperation with the US and Israel and a smooth transition to Palestinian autonomy in this field and be rid of intervention or ties with external parties. He is also preparing to introduce a Palestinian currency and cut off banking ties with the Jewish state. Our sources add that no one in Ramallah and interested Arab capitals can explain how those committees will go about meeting Abbas’ targets.
- Another step already announced last month is to pronounce the death of the (Oslo) Interim Accords signed between Israel and the PLO at the White House in Washington in 1994, along with every other Palestinian agreement concluded with the United States. The Palestinians have threatened more than once to annul these agreements, which were designed to set up a framework leading to a negotiated resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Now Abbas means to both kill and bury it for good.
- Abu Mazen intends to put his plan to Russian President Vladimir Putin when they meet at the Black Sea resort of Sochi Monday, Feb. 12. He will ask Putin to create an axis of nations to bolster the Palestinians, like the one he established with Iran and Turkey for promoting a solution of the Syrian conflict. Once that is in place, Abbas is confident that a Russian-European-Muslim bloc will become feasible for replacing the United States as the lead broker in the Palestinian dispute with Israel. He also wants to dismantle the Middle East Quartet established in 1991 at the Madrid peace conference with the participation of the UN, the US, the European Union and Russia, and reconstitute it without the United States.
- Abbas has instructed his foreign minister Riyad al Maliki and UN ambassador Riyad Mansour to start setting up a UN Security Council session for recognizing the immediate establishment of a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders and with East Jerusalem as its capital. He knows a US veto will block this motion but believes it will have the effect of showing the US to be isolated and up against the whole world in resisting Palestinian independence on its own terms.
- He has renewed the Palestinian petition for the International Criminal Court at The Hague to prosecute Israel for war crimes.
But our sources report, that notwithstanding Abu Mazen’s grand plan to break all Palestinian ties of interdependence with Israel and the United States, the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah continues to uphold its security cooperation with America without pause, and its security and intelligence services continue to work with Israel. The only ill wind ruffling this surface is the rumor Abbas’ henchmen continue to spread which accuses President Trump of conspiring to oust him and replace him with a pro-American figurehead.