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Abbas catches Israel off guard

Israeli officials and analysts were shocked by Mahmoud Abbas' bold move for Palestine to join international agencies.
A masked Palestinian boy holds a picture of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during a Fatah demonstration in support of Abbas in the West Bank village of Kofr Qadoum near Nablus April 4, 2014. REUTERS/Abed Omar Qusini (WEST BANK - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST) - RTR3JYJS

No sooner had Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas signed letters of accession to 15 international treaties than Israel began spinning various myths to explain how this came to be. Israeli officials and commentators were in shock while trying to justify how their Palestinian partner could do something without Israel's prior approval. Abbas appears to have caught the Israelis off guard by signing documents that allow Palestine to join UN bodies and treaties to regulate the rights of a state under occupation, the workings of diplomats and the conventions protecting the rights of women and children.

In trying to explain what happened, Israeli officials and pundits spun and presented almost every conceivable argument except the obvious. That Israel had clearly reneged on an agreement with the Palestinians totally escaped Israeli officials and their spin doctors.

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