Erekat tells Quartet Israel is impeding peace

PLO Executive says Palestinians committed to following all guidelines set forth in road map to peace but Israelis are "judaizing" Jerusalem.

By JPOST.COM STAFF, REUTERS
October 24, 2011 15:58
1 minute read.
Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat.

Saeb Erekat 311. (photo credit: Mati Milstein)

 
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PLO Executive Committee Member Saeb Erekat on Sunday demanded that the Middle East Quartet condemn Israel for hindering the peace process, Wafa, the Palestine News Agency reported on Monday.

The Palestinians are committed to all rules and regulations of the road map toward peace but the Israelis continue to break the law by expanding settlements and "judaizing" Jerusalem, Erekat said.

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The statement came in response to remarks made Sunday by Special Envoy to the Middle East, Tony Blair, in which he said the Arab Spring could derail the peace process between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Arab pro-democracy uprisings spell more regional instability that could complicate peace efforts between Israel and the Palestinians but also make it necessary to get the process back on track, UN envoy to the Middle East Tony Blair said.

“It is a great thing that people are wanting democracy, but in the short term there is reduced stability in the region so that can pose problems for Israel and the peace process,” said Blair. “Because of the instability and uncertainty in the region, it’s right that we grip the peace process and put it back on track again.

Erekat specifically noted his disgust with ongoing efforts to expand Jewish settlements in the West Bank, particularly. Israel recently announced plans to add 1,100 new housing units to south Jerusalem suburb of Gilo, and to build a new settlement, to be called Givat Hamatos, as well as expand a pre-existing Arab village in east Jerusalem.



EU Foreign Affairs Chief Catherine Ashton and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon condemned the plans to build housing units in Gilo and Givat Hamatos, territory the Palestinians have designated for their future state.

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