JERUSALEM, Israel – For the first time since 2006, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas convened the Palestine Liberation Organization’s parliament Monday. Abbas says he wants to present a united front against Israel and the United States before the US Embassy move to Jerusalem in two weeks.
The Palestinian National Council (PNC), which began the three-day meeting in Ramallah, will vote for 18 members of the PLO’s executive committee who make up Abbas’s cabinet, YNet reported. At least 10 of the committee’s 18 members are expected to be replaced.
Hamas, the Palestinian faction that’s ruled the Gaza Strip for more than a decade, opposes the move to replace the cabinet members. Hamas officials say the meeting should not take place until there’s a unity government – an elusive goal that’s failed repeatedly despite Egyptian efforts to mediate between the two rival factions.
“The PNC meeting that will be held in Ramallah is not legitimate, is factional and does not represent all of the Palestinians,” the report quotes senior Hamas official Mushir al-Masri’s statement to journalists in Gaza.
“We stress the need to regain Palestinian unity and end the policy of exclusion and unilateralism by the leadership of the Palestinian Authority and its hijacking of Palestinian institutions,” Masri added.
In related news, the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center reports that over the past year, the PA has worked to promote land registration in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank).
“The PA perceives land registration as an important legal means for proving Palestinians’ ownership of land in Judea and Samaria,” ostensibly to “make it as difficult as possible for Israelis to purchase land in Judea, Samaria and east Jerusalem and to grant advantages to Palestinians who turn to the courts, including Israeli courts,” the report states.
It further states that the "Palestinian Authority in collaboration with Turkey is searching the Ottoman State Archives for documentation regarding Palestinian ownership of lands, including waqf property in Jerusalem, to prevent land from being sold to Israel.”
The Palestinian Authority considers selling land to Jews national treason, originally punishable by the death and later to a life sentence of hard labor. For decades, Arabs caught selling land to Jews were “mysteriously” murdered one way or another.