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Diplomacy & Politics
KHALED ABU TOAMEH \
Former PLO negotiator calls on PA to endorse 'resistance' against Israel
Palestinians wave PLO flags.
The peace talks between the PLO and Israel are headed toward failure, Muhammad Shtayyeh, a former member of the Palestinian negotiating team, said.He called on the Palestinian Authority to endorse “resistance” against Israel instead of providing services to Palestinians.Shtayyeh, who recently resigned from the team in protest against lack of progress in the talks, said they would not be extended past the nine-month timeline, which expires in April.“We are headed toward the one-state option,” Shtayyeh said during a seminar that the Palestinian Lawyers Union organized in Jericho on Wednesday.“The peace talks will end at the end of April,” he said. “The talks wouldn’t be extended even for one day. The talks will end in failure, and then we will bid farewell to the two-state solution as Israel continues its policy of settlement and creating new facts on the ground.”The current conditions do not help the Palestinians in establishing their own state, Shtayyeh said. “Whether we accept or reject [US Secretary of State] John Kerry’s proposals wouldn’t help in anything,” he said. “No deal is better than a weak one. The Palestinian Authority can’t continue in its present form. It should change its function to a resistance authority and not one that provides services.”The PA leadership was planning to seek membership in the UN after the failure of the talks so as to prosecute Israel for “war crimes,” Shtayyeh said.He called for an international conference on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict similar to the Geneva conference on Syria.The Palestinian goal, Shtayyeh said, was to internationalize the Palestinian issue.Meanwhile, chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat announced on Thursday that he would meet with Kerry in Washington next week.The Palestinians were expecting Kerry to present them with a written document outlining the US position toward the peace process, Erekat said.Erekat said that he would brief Kerry on “all the facts on the ground that have been imposed by Israel, and that contradict with talk about peace.”The Israeli government, he charged, was “destroying peace and doesn’t want Kerry to return to the region to pursue the peace talks.”
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