JERUSALEM – The governing body that created the Palestinian Authority is studying the possibility of dismantling the PA if a major breakthrough in Israeli-Palestinian talks is not achieved in the near future, senior PA officials told WND.
The seriousness of the statement was not immediately clear as it could simply be a tactic to pressure Israel into a quicker agreement.
Still, the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, or PLO, quietly put in place a team of experts to draw up scenarios for the day after the PA is dismantled, the PA officials said.
The officials said major member factions of the PLO, including the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and some Fatah members, are dissatisfied with the PA’s failure to create a state and favor the PA’s dismantlement.
The PA, led by President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party, is the main governing body of the Palestinians in the West Bank. It previously controlled the Gaza Strip until Hamas took over the territory in 2007.
The PA was created by the PLO following the 1993 Oslo Accords that first granted the Palestinians some sovereignty in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
The PA’s dismantlement is unlikely if for no other reason than the rank corruption in its midst. Companies controlled by Abbas’ sons have been accused of siphoning more than $1.5 billion in international aid to the PA through various offshoot companies.
Abbas has threatened to dismantle the PA in the past. In 2010, he told Palestinian TV that if a deal isn’t reached with Israel, he might dissolve the PA and ask Israel to assume control of the West Bank.
In 2012, Abbas made a similar declaration at the opening session of the Fatah Advisory Council.
Last January, Abbas again threatened to dismantle the PA amid strikes by Palestinian employees.
The latest move comes as a research center close to the PA, the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in Ramallah, released an extensive study last week warning the breakdown of the PA would lead to mass chaos, violence and anarchy in the West Bank.
The study further reported Hamas would assume control if the PA breaks down.