Erekat: PA refuses to repeat lunacy of peace talks

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February 4, 2013 03:01

Palestinian Authority reiterates refusal to return to negotiating table unless Israel halts settlements, releases prisoners.

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Chief PLO negotiator Erekat

Chief PLO negotiator Erekat 370. (photo credit:REUTERS/NIR ELIAS)

The Palestinian Authority reiterated Sunday its refusal to return to the negotiating table unless Israel stopped settlement construction and released Palestinian prisoners.

In response to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s call for reviving stalled peace talks with the PA, chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat said that the Palestinians were not setting conditions for returning to the negotiating table.

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“These are not Palestinian conditions, but obligations that Israel is required to fulfill,” Erekat said. He said that there would be no EU initiative to resume the peace talks without US involvement.

Erekat called on the administration of US President Barack Obama to “stop treating Israel as if it were a country above the law.”

The Palestinians, he added, would not “repeat the lunacy of returning to the negotiations while Israel is not fulfilling its obligations.”

Erekat said that the PA leadership remained committed to peace and negotiations and accused Israel of “choosing settlements and dictates and abandoning the peace process.”

Meanwhile, PA President Mahmoud Abbas met in his office in Ramallah on Sunday with families of Palestinian prisoners who are on hunger strike in Israeli prisons.

Abbas held the Israeli government responsible for the well-being of the striking prisoners and called for their immediate release, according to a statement published by his office.

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