Israel must choose between peace and settlements and release Palestinian
prisoners, Chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat was quoted Thursday as
Erekat's remarks came after he held talks in Washington with US
Secretary of State Hilary Clinton on ways of reviving the stalled peace
He said he relayed to the US Administration the Palestinian
demands for reviving the peace process: a full cessation of settlement
construction and the release of Palestinian prisoners. "I discussed with Clinton
the Palestinian stance [toward the peace process]," Erekat said.
"We are not
against returning to the negotiating table. But how can we negotiate while
IIsrael is continuing to build settlements on territories that are supposed to
be part of a Palestinian state."
Erekat also demanded that Israel release 123
security prisoners who were imprisoned before the signing of the Oslo Accords.
"Israel must choose between peace and settlements," Erekat told the daily
Erekat said he discussed with Clinton statements made by
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman against PA President Mahmoud Abbas and which
the Palestinians consider as "incitement."
Erekat said that Lieberman's verbal
attacks against Abbas "pose a grave danger to the peace process." Erekat said he
also briefed Clinton on Israeli security measures against Palestinians both in
the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
He also denied that he had met during his
visit to Washington with Deputy Prime Minister Shaul Mofaz, who is currently in