Fayyad calls on Quartet to denounce Israeli violence

PA prime minister tells audience in Bil'in that continued settlement activity endangers the two-state solution.

April 10, 2012 22:05
2 minute read.
Palestinians hold flags at Bil'in Conference

Bilin Conference 370. (photo credit: TOVAH LAZAROFF)


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Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad called on the Quartet – the US, EU, Russia and the UN – to speak out more forcibly on the issue of Israeli violence against Palestinians when it meets Wednesday in Washington.

“It is important for the Quartet to put a lot more emphasis, in addition to what it traditionally does, on [Israeli] violence in the face of nonviolent Palestinian protests, settler violence [and] Israeli army incursions into Area A,” Fayyad told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday.

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He spoke with the Post and a few other reporters briefly on the sidelines of the 7th annual Bil’in Conference on popular struggle, held in the Palestinian village, which has held weekly protests against the security barrier for over seven years. The four-day conference will also include events in Hebron and east Jerusalem.

On the first day, several hundred participants sat on plastic white chairs under a large white tent adorned with Palestinian flags, which had been set up in an olive grove next to the barrier, within eyesight of the Modi’in Illit settlement.

Both in speaking before the conference and with reporters afterwards, Fayyad said he supported nonviolent protests and the popular struggle against Israel.

He called on Israel to freeze all settlement activity and for Arab nations to make good on their financial pledges to the PA.

As he stood by an olive tree, wearing a pin of the Palestinian flag on his black suit jacket, the bulk of his words to reporters had to do with nonviolent resistance.

“The results may be slow and not dramatic in the way that people are accustomed to, but they are certain in terms of the transformation that nonviolence brings with it,” he said.

It has a moral capacity, authority and power to mobilize people, he said. “I regard it as the right path.”

The PA prime minister continued: “Demonstrations and marches are expression of constructive defiance, but they are just expressions.”

“The essence of nonviolent resistance is the capacity to preserver,” he said. “To exist is to resist or to resist is to exist.”

Among the people that surrounded Fayyad at the conference was an Israeli man named Shay from Tel Aviv, who did not want to give his last name.

As he posed with Fayyad for a photograph, he whispered to him advice for his meeting with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu next week.

“When you speak to Netanyahu you need leverage and the only leverage you have left is [the threat] of a one-state solution,” he said.

Afterwards he told the Post that a one-state solution is what will happen anyway if the two sides do not come to an agreement.

Fayyad told the audience in Bil’in that continued settlement activity endangered the two-state solution. When asked after the talk if he thought a two-state solution was still possible, he answered, “Yes.”

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