On Jan. 15, the Palestinian Central Council (PCC) adopted a decision calling on the Palestinian Authority (PA) to suspend its recognition of Israel until Israel recognizes an independent Palestinian state, abrogates its 1967 annexation of East Jerusalem and stops settlement construction in the West Bank. In the final communique of the two-day council meeting, representatives also called on the PA to stop “all forms” of security coordination with Israel and turn its back on the Paris Accord — an annex of the 1993 Israeli-Palestinian Oslo peace agreement that regulates the economic relationship between the two sides. All Palestinian commitments under the Oslo Accord, they said, are “null and void.”
On Jan. 14, the first day of the meeting held in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas delivered a fiery speech to the 86 delegates representing all Palestinian movements that make up the PLO. He described in despair what everyone knew: The PLO and PA are facing a dramatic watershed moment. “We will not make the mistakes of the past — of 1948 and 1967 — again,” he said, referring to the two wars between Israel and Arab states (where Palestinians fled from their homes). “We will stay here and not move. We are at a crucial crossroads, and our future is at stake,” he said.