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UN envoy ‘no longer acceptable’ for Palestinians — PLO

By AFP - Oct 11,2018 - Last updated at Oct 11,2018

Palestinian protesters use slingshots at a demonstration on the beach near the maritime border with Israel, in the northern Gaza Strip, on Monday (AFP photo)

RAMALLAH — The Palestinian leadership will no longer work with the UN peace envoy, a senior official said Thursday, accusing him of overstepping his role by seeking a deal between Israel and the Islamist movement Hamas.

Ahmed Majdalani, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organisation’s (PLO) 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 rival Palestinian faction 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 United Nations.

Mladenov, alongside Egypt, has been seeking a long-term truce agreement between Hamas and Israel, without including Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ internationally recognised government in the indirect negotiations.

The talks have stalled, partly due to pressure from 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’ government was not involved in that deal and Mladenov’s strategy has angered Palestinian politicians.

The Palestinian Authority headed by Abbas has semi autonomy in parts of the occupied West Bank but lost control of Gaza to Hamas in a near-civil war in 2007.

The international community has since worked with the PA.

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

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