The US is not an honest broker and the peace talks with Israel have reached a
deadlock, jailed Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti was quoted as saying on
Barghouti made his comments in a letter relayed by his lawyer to
the Chinese news agency Xinhua.
Barghouti’s comments seemed timed to come
on the eve of US Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit to the region – the fifth
since he entered office – in a bid to revive stalled talks between the
Palestinian Authority and Israel.
However Kerry, who was expected to
arrive on Tuesday, has postponed his trip. The State Department never formally
announced when he would be coming back to the region, nor did the Prime
Minister’s Office officially announce that a meeting had been scheduled with
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
Both Israeli and US officials
indicated the delay was due to scheduling problems stemming from Netanyahu’s
twoday trip to Poland on Wednesday. No new date for a visit has been
Last week, at an address to the American Jewish Committee
Washington, Kerry said that he has visited Israel “in March, April and May, and
I will be back soon.”
One Israeli official dismissed some speculation
that the postponement had to do with any problems in Kerry’s efforts to
re-launch Israeli-Palestinian talks, saying that if there were a crisis, Kerry
would definitely be coming to try and solve it.
are likely to embarrass Abbas and other PA leaders who have publicly supported
Kerry’s efforts to resume the peace negotiations.
“President Barack Obama
has disappointed many in the world,” said Barghouti, a member of the Fatah
Central Committee who has been in prison since 2002 serving five life terms for
his role in terror attacks on Israelis.
“Obama has failed in forcing
Israel to abide by the requirements of the peace process. He has not shown a
real desire until now in implementing resolutions of international
Barghouti claimed that Obama was responsible for blocking
Palestinian attempts to gain full membership in the UN and its agencies and
Barghouti said that Obama and his administration have
increased all forms of political and military aid to Israel.
He said that
Kerry should ask Israel to “end occupation and establish a sovereign Palestinian
Barghouti said that Kerry must understand that Palestinians are
not waiting for gestures from Israel, but are demanding their “sacred national
Referring to Kerry’s plan to boost the Palestinian economy,
Barghouti said that the Palestinians are opposed to “economic peace at the
expense of their freedom, independence and the right of return” for Palestinian
refugees to their former homes inside Israel.
Barghouti warned the PA
leadership against returning to the negotiating table with Israel
unconditionally, saying such a move would cause grave damage to the Palestinian
national interests. He said that the PA leadership should return to the
negotiations only if Israel committed to “ending occupation and withdrawing to
the 1967 borders, establishing an independent and sovereign Palestinian state
with east Jerusalem as its capital, releasing all Palestinian prisoners and
ensuring the right of return of all refugees.”
Barghouti also rejected a
proposal by the Arab League
for land swaps between the Palestinians and
The proposal was made last month during a visit by Arab League
foreign ministers to Washington.
The Arab League is not authorized to
make any concessions, Barghouti stressed.
He also voiced support for
“popular resistance” against Israel, arguing that the right-wing government in
Israel was not interested in peace with the Palestinians.
with Israel would not bear any fruits in the absence of resistance on the
ground,” Barghouti said.
“The negotiations have reached a deadlock due to
the extremist Israeli position and the absence of an Israeli partner.”
a related development, PA Foreign Minister Riad Malki warned that Israeli
“intransigence” and refusal to halt settlement construction would sabotage
Kerry’s efforts to revive the peace process.
PLO Secretary-General Yasser
Abed Rabbo said that the Israeli government was not interested in reaching a
peace agreement on the basis of a two-state solution.
He said the Israeli
government was seeking to prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state by
creating new facts on the ground.Herb Keinon contributed to this report.