The Palestine Liberation Organization on Tuesday brushed aside a report in the Israeli press claiming that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed a willingness to negotiate the borders of West Bank settlement blocs that Jerusalem wishes to keep in any future deal.
Saeb Erekat, the PLO’s top negotiator, said that Netanyahu’s stated commitment to the two-state solution is “nothing new.”
“[Netanyahu’s readiness to discuss settlement bloc borders is tantamount to] a request to continue illegal settlement construction with Palestinian consent,” Erekat said. “This looks like one state and two systems rather than two sovereign and democratic states.”
“If Mr. Netanyahu wants to have meaningful negotiations ending the occupation that began in 1967, he should recognize a Palestinian state on the 1967 border and honor Israel’s obligations, including a halt of settlement construction and the release of the Palestinian prisoners.”