Fatah member Nabil Shaath on Wednesday
rejected 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.
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
Abu Rudaineh was referring to Netanyahu’s statement
that Israel must maintain control over the Jordan Valley.
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
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
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.