Which Palestinian politician is the real puppet of the Israelis?
The Palestinian Authority is facing mounting criticism from its own leaders over a decision to rescheat on a contract it signed with Israel.
The move, announced by the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, last month, is seen by many Palestinians as an attempt to circumvent a United Nations Security Council resolution passed last month calling on the PA to withdraw its participation in a UN peacekeeping force in Syria.
But the PA is facing a backlash from the top leadership of the ruling Fatah movement, which is led by the Hamas movement.
It says the decision will undermine the unity of the Palestinian people and will increase tensions between the two countries.
The PA is now facing calls to suspend its participation, and the International Criminal Court is expected to investigate the matter.
Last month, PA President Mahmoud Abbas told the United Nations General Assembly that the decision would undermine the “unity” of the Palestinians and would increase tensions with Israel and Egypt.
The decision came after the Palestinians said they had agreed to withdraw their participation in the UN peacekeepers force in the Syrian city of Homs after receiving assurances from the Israeli military that they would not be involved in any operations against Syria.
The UNSC resolution was passed after the United States and Britain said the PA had failed to honour its commitment to withdraw from Syria and to “avoid further violations of international law” in Syria and its occupied territories.
But in the wake of the vote, Abbas told his Cabinet that he was not concerned about the resolution’s timing, adding that he expected to get it in December.
A spokesman for the Palestinian Authority, Ismail Haniyeh, told Al Jazeera that the PA was not seeking to circumvent the resolution, but was seeking to address the concerns of the international community, which have been voiced by both the Palestinians as well as the Israelis.
“The decision is in line with the Palestinian position,” he said.
“Our position is that we are working on the basis of the U.N. resolution and that we hope to get a resolution in the U to end the conflict in the region.”
A spokesman at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the decision to cut ties was made in response to the U,S.
announcement, which had been approved by the Security Council.
“It was a political decision taken by the PA leadership and in accordance with the PA constitution,” he told Al-Jazeera.
“This is an important step and a serious step towards the solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which we are still facing and which is not resolved,” he added.
“We have to be clear that we have a Palestinian and international law and a democratic process and we are fighting for peace.”
The decision to cancel the deal comes as tensions between Israel and the Palestinians rise, with Israel announcing a plan to relocate settlements on the occupied West Bank and the Palestinian leadership rejecting it as a move against peace.
A senior PA official told Reuters news agency that the cancellation of the deal was part of a broader political shift in the Palestinian government.
“In this political process, the PA has been trying to change its position, which has resulted in some political moves,” the official said.
“There has been a shift in political and political dynamics in the leadership and it is no longer about solving the Palestinian problem, it is about changing the political equation to the point where it no longer needs to be resolved by the international and regional institutions.”
A senior Fatah official told Al Jazeera that the move was not in the interest of the people of the PLO and that it would be an embarrassment to the PA.
“If the PA did not want to participate in the peacekeeping mission, they could have done it in a more reasonable way,” he was quoted as saying by the AP news agency.
“I don’t think this decision is a good move because it will harm the PLP’s position.”
The Palestinian Authority has said it is committed to working towards a peace deal between Israel, the Palestinians, Syria and Egypt, and has said that its role in the international system was limited by the terms of the agreement with Israel, which it signed in 1979.
However, the agreement, which allows the Palestinians to continue to live under Israeli control, has been criticised by Israel as being too lenient on Israel.