Specialists criticize Abbas decision to merge PLO with PA institutions

PA President Mahmoud Abbas (Palestinian Presidency - Anadolu Agency)

Middle East Monitor  /  February 19, 2022

Palestinian lawyers and analysts have criticized the decision of Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas to merge the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) with PA institutions, Quds Press reported on Friday.

Abbas has recently decided to merge the PLO with the PA – a measure described by Palestinian lawyer Mustafa Shatat as “a dangerous violation of the status of the PLO.”

Shatat reiterated: “The PA is a subordinate PLO institution, not the opposite. The PLO must remain enjoying this status until the liberation of Palestine – the reason for which it was created.”

Meanwhile, former Judge Ahmed al-Ashqar expressed: “There have been desperate attempts to melt the PLO’s legal status through making the PLO subordinate to the PA’s legal system and adding it to the outcomes of Oslo Peace Accords.”

Palestinian journalist Mustafa al-Sawwaf indicated: “The real meaning of Abbas’s decision is liquidating the PLO, which has caused a headache for him. Merging the PLO with the PA means that the Palestinians living in the lands occupied in 1948 (Israel) are not Palestinians, but Arabs living in the Zionist entity.”

Al-Sawwaf stressed: “The PLO is owned by all the Palestinian people wherever they are. Now, they have to announce a new body that represents their legitimate rights.”

Hamas voiced its rejection of Abbas’s decision and described it as a “grave violation” of the Palestinian principles.

“Hamas views all recent steps taken by the PA’s leadership as a grave contravention of all Arab-brokered agreements hammered out to reform the PLO, as it seriously affects the Palestinian people’s collective representation,” Head of Hamas National Relations Department Abroad, Ali Baraka, conveyed on Friday.