The Palestinian Authority is also expecting a package of incentives from the US in return for resuming peace talks with Israel, Palestinian sources said on Monday.

The US has offered such a package to Israel in return for a 90-day settlement freeze. That one would likely include using its veto power in the UN against unilateral moves to declare a Palestinian state, and eventually providing 20 additional F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jets. The terms have not been finalized and the security cabinet has yet to vote on the proposal.

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According to the Palestinian sources, the PA wants additional financial aid and a promise from Washington to intervene in the direct negotiations between the Palestinians and Israel to reach a peace agreement within one year.

The PA is also hoping that the US package of incentives would include a “political commitment” that an agreement would be reached on the borders of a Palestinian state within three months, the sources told the London-based Al-Quds al-Arabi newspaper.

In addition, the PA wants a US commitment to solve the issue of the Palestinian refugees and compensate them through an international fund that would involve most countries in the region, including Israel.

However, chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat said he was unaware of such a request by the PA.

Erekat warned that the PLO could not remain committed to peace talks with Israel indefinitely. He accused Israel of using the negotiations as a “cover for its practices, which are designed to undermine the twostate solution and make it impossible to achieve.”

Erekat said Israel was still refusing to recognize the Palestinians’ right to establish an independent state on the June 4, 1967, lines with east Jerusalem as its capital.

The Palestinians, he stressed, would not relinquish their right to achieve their goal – namely to achieve liberty and establish an independent Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital, solve the issue of the refugees on the basis of UN General Assembly Resolution 194 and release all prisoners held in Israeli jails – no matter how long it took.

Erekat hinted that the Palestinians would seek UN recognition of a Palestinian state.

“The PLO and the Fatah Central Committee cannot accept the option of allowing Israel to maintain the status quo,” he said.

“Today Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has begun implementing a Palestinian strategy aimed at rejecting attempts to create new facts on the ground.”

Abbas met in Ramallah on Monday with Fatah leaders and briefed them on the latest developments surrounding the peace process.

He reaffirmed his commitment to work toward establishing a Palestinian state “free of settlements” that would exist alongside Israel in security and stability, a PA official said after the meeting. Abbas said reconciliation with Hamas was at the top of the PA’s agenda.

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