Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (R) and his chief peace negotiator, Saeb Erekat, in Ramallah.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat denied on Monday that the PA has decided to forgo until after Israeli elections in March its UN resolution forcing an Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines.
Speaking in an interview with Army Radio, Erekat said, "Today we have technical and expert consultations and we hope to move forward the resolution...within the next few days."
He slammed Israel for wanting to cancel the move at the UN and putting pressure on the US to veto the resolution. According to the PA negotiator, the draft resolution calls for a Palestinian state living side-by-side with an Israeli state on the basis of the 1967 lines, with security, Jerusalem and borders all being addressed.
"What have we been talking about over the last twenty years," said Erekat, arguing that the resolution was not against Israel's interests. The Israeli reaction shows that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu does not actually support a two-state solution, he added.
Erekat denied that US Secretary of State John Kerry had called on the Palestinians to delay submitting the draft resolution, because it would strengthen the right-wing in Israel ahead of elections.
"I heard from Secretary Kerry that they need time to work a formula, they are against the UN Security Council, they are preparing a plan for a two-state solution, we need to trust them, we need to count on them, but I didn't see anything from Secretary Kerry that he wants us to wait until after Israeli elections," Erekat said.A report in US magazine Foreign Policy
over the weekend quoted Kerry as telling European diplomats that he was stalling Palestinian moves at the UN on the advice of Tzipi Livni and Shimon Peres, who allegedly told him that the bid would strengthen the right-wing and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.