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Abbas Threatens to Dissolve Palestinian Authority

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (file photo)

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (file photo)

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has raised the possibility of dissolving the Palestinian Authority if a peace deal cannot be reached with Israel.

In a television interview Friday, Mr. Abbas said he will push to end Palestinian self-rule in the occupied territories if Israel does not stop building settlements on the land, and if U.S.-backed negotiations collapse.

Pointing to Israel's occupation of the West Bank, President Abbas said he cannot remain the president of an authority that does not exist.

Asked if he meant he would dissolve the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority, President Abbas said that is what he is telling the Israelis. He called Israel occupiers and said the situation cannot remain as it is.

The Palestinian Authority was created after the Oslo peace accords were signed in 1993. The authority was charged with governing parts of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, territories Israel captured in the 1967 Mideast war, until a final agreement could be reached.

But 17 years later, there is no conclusion in sight. U.S.-brokered talks between Israel and the Palestinians stalled recently after a 10-month moratorium on settlement construction in the West Bank expired in September.

On Friday, Brazil announced its recognition of a Palestinian state within borders pre-dating Israel's 1967 seizure of the West Bank and Gaza.