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.    

     

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    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?

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