During a briefing to over 90 Palestinian envoys in Istanbul, Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat condemned both the U.S. and Israel, asserting the Oslo process was on the brink of collapse. And indeed it could be.
According to reports, Erekat said that in the event the Palestinians are unsuccessful in their endeavor to be granted statehood at the UN General Assemby, the Palestinian Authority should "cease to exist" and that PA President Mahmoud Abbas "should throw the keys in their faces." While a bit unclear, we assume he means America's "face."
Erekat went on to say "... if the United States vetoes accepting Palestine to the United Nations in the Security Council, uses its financial aid to the PA as political blackmail and leaves Israel as the source of authority, then in my opinion, the PA must cease to exist."
Haartez provides additional details of Erekat's threats:
The conference of Palestinian representatives that has been taking place during the past few days is part of the PA's preparation for the expected vote in the UN General Assembly in September to recognize "Palestine," based on the pre-1967 borders, as a state that will not be a full UN member.
"If the United States wants the Palestinian Authority to continue to exist, then the price is the establishment of a Palestinian state in keeping with the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital," Erekat told the envoys, according to a transcript of his remarks that appeared in the Al-Ayam newspaper.
According to Haartez, as recently as Monday Israel National Security Adviser Yaakov Amidror was considering cancelling the Oslo Accords sometime after the UN vote in response to the Palestinians' unilateral action to seek statehood.
Erekat reportedly responded by saying:
"Israel's actions in the field effectively canceled Oslo years ago," and told the emissaries that the entire 20-year peace process with Israel should be reevaluated.
"The Palestinian Authority has a mission called independence," Erekat said. "If the PA cannot achieve independence, it's better that it didn't exist at all."
So, is it really a bad thing if the PA were to dissolve? Or, would Hamas and other proxies of Iran just fill the vacuum?