PA: Israel not interested in peace

PA: Israel not interested in peace

 By Elior Levy, YNet

16.5.2011
 
EXCERPT
 
'We have no peace partner'
 
While Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the Knesset plenum on Monday, Fatah Central Committee member Saeb Erekat spoke in Tel Aviv and claimed "We have no partner for peace in Israel."
 
Speaking in a Geneva Initiative conference, Erekat stressed that peace negotiations had ran their course during the Olmert era. "The peace process between Israel and the Palestinians is done – everything was agreed upon, now is the time for decisions."
 
Erekat, former chief Palestinian negotiator, described a feeling of desperation among Palestinians. "I am tired of the Israelis ignoring us, I am tired of the Israelis making the decisions, and deciding for me what is good and what is not," he said.
 
The Palestinian official said that Ramallah expects Israel to be the first country to recognize Palestine after it declares independence in September. "I am asking Israel to choose the two-state option on 1967 borders, with Jerusalem as capital of both states. I want Prime Minister Netanyahu to say the number 1967."
 
Erekat said a decision must be made now. "We recognized Israel on 1967 borders and agreed to the concept of land swap, what else do you want from us?."
 
He added that both sides need peace. "You are not doing me a favor by making peace with me and I am not doing you a favor by making peace with you. A peace treaty between Israel and the Palestinians can be settled within two days."
 
'Arab spring good for Israel'
 
Erekat stated that the US and Europe can't make decisions for Israel and the Palestinians. "They can help us but not more than that." He also defended the reconciliation agreement between Fatah and Hamas and said that a two-state solution cannot be achieved without it.
   
Like Netanyahu, Erekat also addressed uprisings in the Middle East and said, "whoever claims that Arabs aren't ready for democracy is a racist."
 
He added that the "Arab spring" is also good for Israel. "What would solve all of this region's problems is an Israeli-Palestinians peace deal and democracy for Arab nations."
 

Referring to the transfer of funds from Israel to the PA, he said: "The decision to release the funds is actually Israel owning up to its mistake. It's our money and you decided to blackmail us. Israel cannot hold 15,000 Palestinian workers who haven't been paid as hostages." 

 

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