Senior Fatah member Nabil Shaath on Wednesdayrejected Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s Tuesday address to Congress and said that Israel's policies won’t lead to peace. Shaath accused Netanyahu of having destroyed any chances for peace, effectively waging war on the diplomatic process to bring about a final settlement.

Speaking to Israel Radio, the Palestinian negotiator said that the Palestinian Authority has decided that the way forward is to "do what Israel did in 1948 and go to the United Nations" in order to "ask for the state promised to us."

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Shaath criticized Netanyahu's repeated claim that an Israel on 1967 borders is "indefensible," saying insistence on keeping IDF forces on the border and on the Jordan river and not allowing an Arab authority in Jerusalem continue to damage and progress in peace negotiations.


According to Shaath, negotiations with the Netanyahu government have "no credibility," as the prime minister negotiates while violating Oslo agreements. Shaath was referring to the claim that Israel, even while calling for a halt to settlement construction, has continued to build settlements beyond the Green Line.

The PA negotiator also rejected Netanyahu’s call to cancel the reconciliation agreement between Fatah and Hamas. He said that Hamas came to Fatah denouncing violence and seeking peace with Israel, not war.

On Tuesday, Nabil Abu Rudaineh, spokesman for President Mahmoud Abbas, said the PA won’t agree to any Israeli presence in a Palestinian state.

Abu Rudaineh was referring to Netanyahu’s statement that Israel must maintain control over the Jordan Valley.

“We won’t accept any Israeli presence in the Palestinian state, especially along the Jordan River,” Abu Rudaineh said.

“What Netanyahu proposed in his speech won’t lead to peace, but would instead place more obstacles in front of the peace process.”

Abu Rudaineh said that for the Palestinians, peace means the establishment of a Palestinian state on the 1967 lines with east Jerusalem as its capital.

“Peace must be achieved on the basis of international legitimacy and negotiations and not on the basis of preconditions and obstacles to peace,” he added.

PLO and Fatah official Saeb Erekat said Netanyahu’s speech proved to Palestinians and Arabs that they don’t have a peace partner in Israel.

He also rejected Netanyahu’s call to scrap the reconciliation agreement with Hamas. The PA won’t abandon the accord in any way, “because peace is based on reconciliation,” Erekat said.

Netanyahu is “not a man of peace and did not bring anything new.”

He also accused Netanyahu of “mixing history with geography” in his speech.

The head of the Arab League said Netanyahu’s comments on what is necessary for peace with the Palestinians “are unworkable and do not allow for peace.”Bloomberg contributed to this report.

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