Saeb Erekat 311.
(photo credit: Mati Milstein)
The Palestinian Authority is not seeking goodwill gestures from Israel, but
wants it to abide by all agreements signed with the Palestinians, Chief PLO
negotiator Saeb Erekat said on Monday.
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He also demanded that the Quartet
– the US, UN, EU and Russia – hold Israel fully responsible for the failure of
the peace process.
Commenting on claims that Israel should release Fatah
prisoners and remove checkpoints as a way of strengthening the PA in wake of the
prisoner swap with Hamas, Erekat said: “We don’t want goodwill gestures from
There are agreements and Israel should abide by them by stopping
construction in the settlements, ending the [targeted] assassinations and
removing the checkpoints and finding a timeline for withdrawing to the 1967
Erekat repeated the charge that Israel was responsible for the
current stalemate in the peace process by “preferring settlements over
Erekat expressed hope the Quartet would endorse the PA position
and also blame Israel.
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“The moment Israel declares a cessation of
settlement construction and agrees to a timeline for withdrawing to the 1967
borders we will go back to the negotiations,” Erekat said.
He said PA
officials have been meeting with Quartet representatives on a weekly basis “and
they know our position very well.”
The PA is planning to present the
Quartet representatives later this week with a “detailed report” about Israel’s
settlement activities, he added.
Erekat also rejected Quartet envoy Tony
Blair’s recent claim that the “Arab Spring” would have a negative impact on the
Middle East peace process.
“It’s Israeli occupation that’s hindering
peace and stability in the Middle East,” he said.
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