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PM’s Resignation Ignites Crisis Among Palestinian Factions

Fallout Continues Over Israeli Decision on Hebron Observers

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Posted on: 
30 Jan 2019 (All day)
PM’s Resignation Ignites Crisis Among Palestinian Factions
The resignation of Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah late Tuesday has resulted in a political crisis among Palestinian factions, with two sub-groups within the PLO declaring they will not participate in a newly formed government coalition, a process which could take many months. Hamdallah has said his government will continue in a “caretaker” role for the time being, but events on the ground, particularly in Hebron, threaten to upend these and other plans put forth by both Palestinian and Israeli factions.

Norwegian Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Soereide issued a statement on Tuesday declaring that Israel, by refusing to renew the mandate for the so-called Temporary International Presence (TIPH) in Hebron, was endangering the nearly thirty years old Oslo Accords.

PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat agreed, declaring that the move amounted to an “additional step towards Israel’s nullification of all signed agreements, including the Oslo Interim Agreement.” He added that it “further consolidates the Israeli colonial enterprise and represents one further step towards a ‘de jure’ annexation of further areas in the occupied State of Palestine…we call upon the UN to deploy [a] permanent international presence in occupied Palestine, including east Jerusalem, until the end of Israel’s belligerent occupation.”

The TIPH, which is not a UN project, consists of 13 local staff members and 64 civilian observers from five countries, Sweden, Switzerland, Italy, Norway and Turkey. It’s members have been filmed physically abusing members of Hebron’s 1,000 member Jewish community while insisting that it is necessary to protect the 220,000 Palestinians living in Hebron from that community.

Hebron Jewish community spokesman Yishai Fleisher said that the TIPH observers “created an atmosphere of conflict, not a congenial atmosphere of peace.”

In related news, the World Council of Churches announced that it will also be withdrawing its own observers from Hebron as it no longer feels they would be safe from “harassment” by the 1,000 Jewish residents of the city and the IDF soldiers who are deployed there to protect them.

Finally, Israeli police reported on Wednesday morning that a female Palestinian teenager attempted to stab security forces at  the  Za'ayem crossing near the Jerusalem suburb of Ma'ale Adumim and was shot dead by her intended victims.

 

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