PA official: Palestinian leadership will not accept temporary solutions

Nabil Sha'ath, member of the Fatah Central Committee, says Israel hasn't made any new offers to Palestinians, after a month and a half of talks.

September 5, 2013 10:21
2 minute read.
Nabil Sha'ath

Nabil Sha'ath 370. (photo credit: Melanie Lidman)


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"The Palestinian leadership will not accept temporary solutions, as this is a recipe to the formation of new settlements in empty Palestinian areas [of the West Bank]," Nabil Sha'ath, member of the Fatah Central Committee, said on Thursday.

In an interview with Palestinian news agency Ma'an, Sha'ath said that the two sides spent the past month and a half of talks presenting the issues at, such as borders and security, and that "Israel has yet to put any offers on the table."

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Sha'ath stressed that the Palestinian Authority continues supporting the talks, despite the fact Israel insists on "maintaining the Jewish nature of the state, as well as [maintaining] control of the Jordan river," and does not recognize any previous agreements from Oslo, which is viewed by some in Ramallah as "returning to square one and to old Israeli positions."

Sha'ath claimed that Israel has only allowed US envoy Martin Indyk to attend one of the six meetings held so far because Jerusalem does not want the United States to mediate the talks.

When asked about the PA's position on the talks, Sha'ath said that "Israel has yet to present anything on the issues at hand, but it is still too soon to discuss the results of the negotiations. We will wait and see."

On Wednesday, Yasser Abed Rabbo, a senior aide of PA President Mahmoud Abbas, said the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians are proving pointless and will not bear fruit without much greater pressure from Washington.

US Secretary of State John Kerry has given the two sides nine months to work out their differences, with meetings going on in both Jerusalem and the West Bank.


Little information has leaked about the focus of the initial talks, but Abed Rabbo said continued Israeli settlement building in the West Bank and east Jerusalem on land the Palestinians want for their future state, had undermined the negotiations.

"Israel did not commit to stopping settlements and we see the continuation of the settlement policy as destroying any possible chance of [a deal]," he said.

Israel announced tenders for, or advanced the planning process on about 3,100 housing units in the West Bank and east Jerusalem last month. It brushed off Palestinian anger, saying the homes were destined for well-established settlements that it expected to keep as part of any final accord.

In a message marking the Jewish New Year, Netanyahu said on Wednesday that he wanted "real and enduring peace ... not an agreement that we celebrate for two minutes and then collapses".

"This must be anchored on recognition of Israel as a Jewish state and on our security. This is what ultimately is needed."

Both Netanyahu and Abbas are due to meet Kerry separately in Europe in the coming week to discuss the negotiations.

Reuters and staff contributed to this report.

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