'Israelis haven't rolled back the occupation gene'

In an interview with 'The New York Times,' Fayyad predicts the break down of Fatah, says occupation is the biggest problem.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
May 3, 2013 23:38
1 minute read.
Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad

PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY Prime Minister Salam Fayyad 370. (photo credit: Tovah Lazaroff)

A state of leftovers is not going to do it, former Palestinian Authority prime minister Salam Fayyad told The New York Times in a lengthy interview focusing on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict published Friday.

“I told [US] President [Barack] Obama the shack must come before the skyscraper,” Fayyad said in reference to a meeting between the two in March.

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“The Israelis have not rolled back the occupation gene. Let’s make sure our Beduin population in the Jordan Valley has access to drinking water before we discuss final arrangements. This is a right-to-life issue for Palestinians.”

Fayyad resigned last month, ending months of tension between him and PA President Mahmoud Abbas.

Discussing the US' recent efforts to reignite the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, Fayyad said Obama must ask Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu one simple question: What exactly he means by a Palestinian state.

Fayyad described the US' latest push for peace as high risk: “Israel says no this, no that, and it’s taken as a foregone conclusion... there’s nothing to underpin the US initiative. So how can you invest in it?”

Addressing Palestinian politics, Fayyad predicted that Fatah would crumble. "This party, Fatah, is going to break down, there is so much disenchantment,” he warned. "Students have lost 35 days this year through strikes. We are broke. The status quo is not sustainable.”

“Our story is a story of failed leadership, from way early on,” he told the Times. "It is incredible that the fate of the Palestinian people has been in the hands of leaders so entirely casual, so guided by spur-of-the-moment decisions, without seriousness. We don’t strategize, we cut deals in a tactical way and we hold ourselves hostage to our own rhetoric.”

He pointed to the Israeli occupation as the biggest problem, however, asserting that this never eased, despite a transformed security situation.


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