The Washington Post reported Monday evening that Palestinian leaders voted to suspend its recognition of Israel, suggesting the Palestinian Authority withdraw its existing security cooperation with Israel until it recognizes Palestine as an independent state. The decision was reportedly prompted by the Trump administration’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, as global condemnation of the move reaches a fever pitch.
Members of the Palestine Liberation Organization who attended the meeting effectively agreed to withdraw Palestine’s participation in the Oslo accords, the decades-old agreement that, in part, established the framework for Israel and Palestine to share critical intelligence. The Palestinian Authority has yet to adopt and make official the council’s vote.
Qais Abd al-Karim, a Palestinian leader who spoke at the meeting, told those gathered that Trump “has taken us hundreds of miles back,” and that his “decision on Jerusalem completely destroyed the immediate prospects of any peace process,” the Post reported.
The decision is precisely the opposite of what the Trump administration has aggressively lobbied to accomplish; he and top State Department officials have argued that withholding crucial aid and refusing to acknowledge Palestine’s sovereignty will drive it closer to negotiating a peace deal with Israel. Just yesterday, reports surfaced that the State Department will slash funding to the United Nations’ Palestinian refugee agency by as much as $65 million.