Saeb Erekat: PLO should consider retracting recognition of Israel

Chief Palestinian negotiator says recognizing Israel should be conditioned on a "reciprocal recognition" of a Palestinian state by Jerusalem.

June 18, 2015 15:29
1 minute read.
Saeb Erekat

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat released a lengthy report on Thursday, detailing the current state of Israeli-Palestinian relations, and proposing a "comprehensive review" of the status quo. 

The 56-page report – dubbed, "Determining Palestinian-Israeli relations: Changing, not merely improving, the situation" – lays out a set of recommendations for the Palestinian leadership, including the possibility of retracting official recognition of Israel.

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The top Palestinian official suggests that recognizing a Jewish state – as the PLO did circa 1988 – should be conditioned on a "reciprocal recognition" of a Palestinian state by Jerusalem.

Ramallah should not adhere to pressure from the international community to acknowledge the Jewish state, Erekat admonishes in the report, a step he says could undermine the well-being of the Palestinian population.

The PA must also reject Israel deploying troops across the Jordan Valley under any future peace plan and fight for control over east Jerusalem, which the Palestinians want as their capital.

On a more domestic level, Erekat talked about expanding the role of the PA beyond security and the treasury – to include assistance to Palestinians in Lebanon and Syria. He took an all-inclusive stance, saying groups like Hamas and Islamic Jihad, which he termed "popular resistance," are welcome under the PLO umbrella.

Going forward, the Palestinian government should back boycotts of Israeli products made in West Bank settlement, said another recommendation.

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