News / Middle East

    Palestinian Negotiator to Push Statehood Case with Kerry

    FILE - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (R) with chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat.
    FILE - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (R) with chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat.
    Reuters

    Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat will present plans to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday calling for a time table on ending Israel's occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, Palestinian officials said.

    Erekat and intelligence chief Majid Faraj will hold a series of meetings with senior officials in Washington in which they will press the case for Palestinian statehood, amid frustration after a year of talks between Israel and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas collapsed in April.

    The discussions with Kerry will focus on establishing “a timeframe for ending Israel's occupation to be agreed as soon as possible and not after the end of this year”, said a Palestinian official familiar with the plan Erekat will lay out.

    In an interview with Palestinian TV last week, Abbas said it should only take “half an hour or an hour” to delineate the borders of a Palestinian state, since the United States agreed they should be based on the 1967 borders that existed before the war in which Israel captured the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

    “There's either a political solution or there isn't,” he said. “But going here and there, up and down, talking and not talking - it's been 20 years and nothing has happened.”

    If there is no agreement on borders in coming months - at least by the end of the year - Abbas said he would have no choice but to push ahead with unilateral statehood moves, a threat he has made before and carried out incrementally.

    The first step would be to seek a resolution in the United Nations Security Council calling for a deadline for ending Israel's 47-year occupation of Palestinian territory.

    If it were drafted, such a resolution would probably be vetoed by the United States, which has said it wants only a negotiated solution to the conflict.

    Anticipating that veto, the Palestinians say they would then push ahead with plans to join the International Criminal Court, which could open the way for proceedings against Israel. They would also sign up to a range of international treaties and organizations that help denote statehood.

    “We ask the Security Council, I want a political solution, meaning two things: the 1967 borders and ending the occupation over a set period lasting as little time as possible, and that's the end of it,” Abbas told Palestinian TV.

    Israel accepts the idea of a 'two-state solution' - meaning an independent and democratic Palestinian state living alongside Israel - but has not accepted the 1967 borders as the basis for final negotiations, citing security and other concerns.

    It is not clear when negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians might resume. They broke off in April after Abbas took steps towards forming a unity government with the Islamist group Hamas, which is dominant in Gaza.

    Tensions between Hamas and Abbas's more secular Fatah party have only increased since, while opinion polls show that Hamas is now preferred by most Palestinians.    

     

    You May Like

    Multimedia Obama Calls on Americans to Help the Families of Its War Dead

    In last Memorial Day of his presidency, Obama lays wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery

    The Strife of the Party: Will Trump Permanently Alter Republicans?

    While billionaire mogul's no-holds-barred style, high-energy delivery are what rocketed him to nomination, they also have created rift between party elites and his supporters

    China's Education Reforms Spark Protest

    Beijing is putting a quota system in place to increase the number of students from poor regions attending universities

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Ted
    September 03, 2014 1:03 PM
    There is only one occupation - Arabs living on historic Israeli lands. Israel has not finished the job in 1967, affected by global Islamic and socialist hysteria, and now everyone is paying the price.

    by: Lindy from: USA
    September 03, 2014 9:03 AM
    Kerry can't even take care of his own country's problems.. If you see him..RUN

    by: Bret from: USA
    September 02, 2014 10:25 AM
    yeah sure... in Jordan..!!! Here we are trying to suppress Hamas/ISIL in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, and they want US to help them form a Terrorist State in Israel... in "Judea and Samaria" no less...

    by: Daryl from: Minnesota
    September 02, 2014 9:56 AM
    Mr. Abbas,

    Please don't waste too much time or energy dealing with Kerry or waiting for the US' help or permission. They've made it very clear they won't. Go forward without because this has gone on for too long. Keep the Faith and "Fight the Power".

    by: Christians for Palestine from: US
    September 02, 2014 9:55 AM
    Palestine is Arab, they have given up there own land to make peace with Israel and has to ask permission to get 10% of the land that belongs to them and if they resist there called terrorist imagine if Israel invaded America how will we respond?
    In Response

    by: Daniel Belteshazzar
    September 02, 2014 10:26 PM
    Jordan is Palestine, or was Palestine between 1917-1920, and yes Jordan is Arab.

    In 1993 Prime Minister Sharon Peres, offered the Arabs some of the land G-d promised the Jews in return for peace. The Oslo Accords called for the withdrawal of Israeli forces from parts of the Gaza Strip and West Bank, and affirmed a Palestinian right of self-government within those areas through the creation of a Palestinian Interim Self-Government Authority. Palestinian rule was to last for a five-year interim period during which "permanent status negotiations" would commence in order to reach a final agreement. In the Letters of Mutual Recognition, the PLO acknowledged the State of Israel and pledged to reject violence, and Israel recognized the PLO as the representative of the Palestinian people and as partner in negotiations. Yasser Arafat was allowed to return to the the West Bank. In 1995, the Oslo I Accord was followed by Oslo II. Neither promised Palestinian statehood.

    In 2005 the IDF pulled out of the Gaza Strip, the PLO was overrun by Hamas, Hamas has been constantly firing rockets at Israel. Israel grew tired of the rockets and isolated the Gaza strip from Israel, and attacks a known Hamas site, every time Hamas sends rockets.

    The EU and Kerry (Obama) tried and failed to force Israel to let the same thing happen to Judea and Samaria (the West Bank), as happened with the Gaza Strip. It is time for Israel to protect it’s people from terror.

    Resolution 242: A legal reappraisal of the right-wing Israeli interpretation of the withdrawal phrase with reference to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians is very long, and comes to the wrong conclusion. After reading this it is clear that Resolution 242 is ambiguous, and I will have to side with the Interpretation by Dore Gold. The Argentinian, and Brazilian representatives agree there is ambiguity in the wording. If the words "the" or "all" made it into the resolution the USA and Israel would not have agreed to it, the USA would have vetoed the resolution like they veto all the other resolutions the UN tries to impose on Israel. The American, Canadian, and Danish delegates all tried to get the words "in the recent conflict" and "Emphasizing the inadmissibility of the acquisition of the territory by war" taken out to no avail. Even if one is to conclude that Resolution 242 calls for the withdrawal of IDF forces from the 1949 armistice line, which I don't. This territory would still be under Israeli sovereignty. I invite you to read Correcting the Record on Resolution 242 by Dore Gold.

    Israel is America's Ally, Israel would never invade the US. There are over 4 million Jewish people living in the US.

    Israel responding to the "Palestinians" (Arabs), is like Ukraine responding to the "separatists" (Russia). The difference being that Israel will win.

    If Russia invaded America, how would we respond?

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora