Who Is Coming To The US – The Chairman Of The PA Or Chairman Of The PLO?
During his upcoming trip to the United States, Abu-Mazen is expected to propose an immediate return to permanent status negotiations, effectively skipping over the Second Phase of the Roadmap and abandoning the idea of a Palestinian State with Provisional Borders. The answer to Abu-Mazen's proposal may be impacted by the perception of the organization he chairs: Is he the Chairman of the Palestinian Authority (PA) or Chairman of the PLO?
What's the Issue?
Abu Mazen is both Chairman of the PLO and Chairman of the PA.
Since the Oslo agreements, differences between the PLO and the PA have blurred. Part of the PLO leadership returned to the West Bank and Gaza to become part of the PA's leadership.
However, the symbolic and constitutional distinctions carry practical implications:
Therefore, there exists a structural mismatch between:
The structure of the Roadmap, which narrows the agenda of the political process promoting a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza (during the Second Phase) and postpones final status issues (to the Third Phase); and
The status of the PLO as the formal interlocutor representing the entire Palestinian people, which is thus prone to expanding the political agenda.
Therefore, it is unlikely that an Israeli-PLO agreement will be reached concerning a Palestinian state with provisional borders during the 2nd Phase of the Roadmap.
Hamas, Gaza, Israel, Palestinians
Israel & The Palestinians
Prospects of reaching an agreement with the PLO – a Permanent Status Agreement or and agreement on the Roadmap - are minimal.