The Palestinian Authority has pledged to the US that it would freeze its efforts
to join United Nations agencies or turn to the International Criminal Court, PA
Foreign Minister Riyad Malki announced on Wednesday.
Malki said that the
promise was made to US Secretary of State John Kerry as a “gesture” on the part
of the Palestinians “and in order to prove our true intentions to give a bigger
chance to the peace process.”
Malki, who was among an Arab League
ministerial delegation that met with Kerry in Washington earlier this week,
revealed that the PA leadership had also made a similar promise to US President
Barack Obama when he visited Ramallah in March.
Malki said that the PA
decision was aimed at “proving our good intentions and belief in making
relentless efforts to achieve peace with Israel on the basis of a two-state
The decision was also made in appreciation of “sincere US
efforts to achieve peace,” he added.
Malki admitted that the PA
leadership did not receive anything in return for its decision to suspend
efforts to turn to the ICC or join UN agencies.
The Palestinian daily Al-
Quds quoted Malki as warning that the PA would go to the UN and to the ICC if
the Israeli government proceeded with plans to build in the area known as E1 in
Malki also discussed the apparent change in policy of the
Arab League, which in a meeting in Washington this week announced its acceptance
– in principle – of minor land swaps between Israel and a future Palestinian
state in the framework of a peace agreement.
The PA foreign minister
emphasized that any modifications to the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative – including
the land swap idea or recognition of Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people
– did not come at the behest of the US secretary of state.
that he and his Arab colleagues discussed with Kerry “ways that could make
Israel get interested in the Arab Peace Initiative.”
informed sources in Washington as saying that the US administration was
preparing to convene a summit that would bring together leaders of Israel, the
PA, Jordan and the US.
Meanwhile, Hamas and other Palestinian groups
expressed their opposition to the land swap proposal, saying that the Arab
League did not have a mandate to make such concessions to Israel.
will never support such an idea,” said Hamas spokesman Salah Bardaweel. “We
reject the latest Arab proposal and the principle of land swap.”
Hamas official, Musa Abu Marzouk, said that no Arab or Muslim was entitled to
“give up one inch of the land of Palestine,” adding that any the talk about
“softening” the Arab Peace Initiative so that it would include land swaps was a
Earlier, the Popular Front for the Liberation of
Palestine and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine – two radical
groups that are opposed to the peace process with Israel – also rejected the
land trade idea.
Some members of PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah
faction have also come out against the idea.
One of them, legislator
Najat Abu Baker, condemned the idea as “an act of treason against the
Abu Baker said that the Arab countries were just
trying to give Israel control over more land in the West Bank. She called on the
Arabs to rise against their governments and support the Palestinians.