A senior Fatah official in the West Bank on Saturday launched a scathing attack on US envoy Martin Indyk, who has been making efforts to salvage the peace talks with Israel.
Indyk is a “Zionist defending Israeli interests,” Abbas Zaki, a member of the Fatah Central Committee, said in a posting on his Facebook page.
Zaki’s comments came shortly after Indyk held another meeting with chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat in Ramallah in an attempt to persuade the Palestinian Authority leadership to suspend its bid to join international institutions and treaties.
Zaki, a former Palestinian ambassador to Lebanon, said that the PA leadership was determined to apply for membership in United Nations agencies despite US pressure.
He accused the US of “reading matters through the eyes of Likud.”
The PA leadership was working with “high spirits and has been able to expose US incompetence in the face of Israeli extremists,” Zaki said. “The Israelis are mistaken if they think that we would trade our cause for the release of 30 prisoners.”
A Fatah spokesman said in response that Zaki’s remarks do not represent the faction’s official position.
A PA official in Ramallah said the US was pursuing its efforts in an attempt to avoid a breakdown of the peace talks.
The official said that Indyk and Erekat, who met on Friday, discussed ways of ensuring the continuation of the peace talks.
On Thursday, US Secretary of State John Kerry phoned PA President Mahmoud Abbas and discussed with him the crisis in the peace talks.
Abbas rejected Kerry’s request to suspend Palestinian efforts to join 15 international organizations and conventions, Palestinian sources said.
Mahmoud Aloul, another senior Fatah official, said over the weekend that the PA leadership would not capitulate to “outside pressure and blackmail.”
The Palestinians would not backtrack on their latest bid to join international bodies and treaties, Aloul said.
“American and Israeli talk about sanctions against the Palestinian Authority do not scare us and won’t weaken us,” he said.
Aloul criticized the US for being “biased in favor of Israel.”