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UN peace envoy 'no longer acceptable' for PLO

UN peace envoy Nickolay Mladenov at press conference [Getty]

Date of publication: 12 October, 2018

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The Palestinian leadership is furious the UN envoy sought to strike a peace deal between its rival faction Hamas and Israel.

The Palestine Liberation Organisation will no longer work with the UN peace envoy after he sought to strike a deal between Israel and its rival Palestinian faction Hamas, a move a senior Palestinian official said overstepped his role. 

Ahmed Majdalani, a member of the PLO's executive committee, said it had informed the UN secretary general that envoy Nickolay Mladenov was "no longer acceptable" to the Palestinian government.

Mladenov had "gone beyond his role" in seeking agreements between Israel and Hamas, which controls Gaza, he said, adding that his actions impacted "Palestinian national security and the unity of our people".

There was no immediate comment from Mladenov or confirmation from the UN.

Mladenov, alongside Egypt, has been seeking a long-term truce agreement between Hamas and the Jewish state, without including Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas's internationally recognised government in the indirect negotiations.

The talks have stalled, partly due to pressure form Abbas, but on Tuesday a smaller UN-brokered agreement was reached for Qatar to finance much-needed fuel deliveries to Gaza for six months.

Abbas’s government was not involved in that deal and Mladenov’s strategy has angered Palestinian politicians.

Hamas has been in control of Gaza since 2007, after winning democratic legislative elections in 2006 and a civil war between rival Fatah faction the following year - at the dismay of both Fatah and Israel.

The PLO has recognised Israel and signed a series of peace treaties with it, while Hamas has fought three wars with the Jewish state since 2008.

Abbas won a four-year term as president in 2005, but he has since remained in office without further elections.

Abbas argues the split between his Fatah party and Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, has made elections politically impossible.

Described as a moderate, he has been involved in decades of negotiations with Israel but is unpopular among Palestinians, with the majority wanting him to step down.

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